Russia has initiated a ban on flower shipments from the Netherlands, saying they contain pests, Russian news agency Tass said on Monday evening, quoting the country’s agricultural agency Rosselkhoznadzor.
The ban on Dutch flowers is a temporary measure and will be either dismissed or extended after consultations with the EU authorities, spokesman Alexei Alekseenko is quoted as saying.
The authority claims to have found 324 contaminated batches of flowers in the past three months. More than half – 183 batches – came from the Netherlands. The pests included tobacco whitefly, white rust and thrips, the agency said.
The ban was first mooted earlier this month and Dutch farming organisation LTO Nederlands told news agency Bloomberg at the time the ban may be related to the investigation into the MH17 disaster.
According to Russia’s Federal Customs Service, Russia imported 30,700 tons of cut flowers and buds from the Netherlands last year, worth some €205m.
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