November 8, 2007


Poland accepts Russian meat inspectors



Poland has agreed to allow Russian specialists to inspect its meat exports, a Russian official told AFP on Wednesday (November 7), in an apparent breakthrough in a dispute that has hamstrung Russia-European Union relations.


"The inspections will begin on November 13 under an agreement secured Wednesday in Moscow by Russia, Poland and the European Union," Alexei Alexeyenko, a spokesman for the Russian veterinary service told AFP.


In 2005 Russia imposed an embargo on Polish meat imports, citing veterinary control issues on the Polish side.


Poland responded by blocking the start of talks between the EU and Russia to renew a 10-year-old partnership and cooperation agreement.


The agreement is seen as particularly important in the EU because it will include provisions for energy relations as the EU increases its reliance on Russian oil and gas imports.


Liberal and pro-business opposition leader Donald Tusk's victory in Polish parliamentary elections in October raised hopes of a possible breakthrough in the dispute after he signalled a desire for closer relations with Brussels and Moscow.