Russian Once Again Threatens Ban On Norway Salmon Imports
December 13, 2013, 9:24 am
Russian authorities have once again warned Norway that it could impose a ban on all of Norway’s salmon imports.
The country’s veterinary service Rosselkhoznadzor said they were considering a ban if they confirm that specialists were barred from inspecting fish farms, a charge which Norwegian authorities and farmers deny, reports Reuters.
“The situation is rather serious,” said Alexei Alekseenko, spokesman for Rosselkhoznadzor. “Some firms did not grant access for our specialists to their farms, so we are considering restricting all (salmon) imports (from Norway),” he said, referring to the authority’s recent round of inspections in Norway this month.
Rosselkhoznadzor could impose the ban from Jan. 1, Sergei Dankvert, head of the service, told the Interfax news agency earlier.
Norwegian authorities said Russian inspectors were welcome and the difficulties arose because they changed their plans “at the last minute”.
“When the team arrived they wanted to visit completely different places than what was originally planned and agreed upon. This is a pattern that we see with all Russian inspections,” said Bjoern Roethe Knudsen, the official in charge of relations between Norway and Russia at the Norwegian Food Authority.
“The sum of their wishes has to be seen as quite unrealistic with the logistics that have to be put into place to transport 15 people around Norway in a week,” said Knudsen.
The charges from Russian authorities are nothing new.
In April, Rosselkhoznadzor similarly threatened to ban all Norwegian fresh salmon imports, citing unsatisfactory sanitary and administrative conditions.
Tensions flared up again in August, reportedly over a misunderstanding.
Several Norwegian exporters remain shut off from the Russian market — Norway’s largest salmon market in 2012 — as a result of the ongoing tensions.