Russia agrees to lift ban on importing tobacco from India

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Moscow, Feb 7 (UNI) Russia has agreed to lift the ban on imports of tobacco from India.

Indian ambassador to Moscow, Prabhat Shukla met with Russian Agriculture Minister Alexey Gordeyev yesterday to discuss the issue related to ban imposed by Moscow on the imports of plant products from India.

During the talks, both sides were agreed in principle to extend the list of plant products imported to Russia from India.

Mr Gordeyev clarified that plant products with minimum phytosanitary risk including onions, dried mushrooms, mixed vegetables and raw tobacco, will be included in the list of imports from India, Russian media reported.

Temporary ban on importing plant products from India was imposed on January 28 by Russian agricultural watchdog RosSelkhozNadzor after khapra beetle was found in one assignment of Indian sesame seed.

Now, import of tea, coffee and spices is permitted, but only through control points in Leningrad in Kaliningrad region.

The ban came ahead of Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov's visit to India to inaugurate the 'Year of Russia' in India. The main purpose of his visit is to boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation by stepping up the cultural ties between the two countries.

Mr Shukla has already held a series of meetings with Russian officials including Gordeyev and head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Sergei Dankvert in order to lift the ban on the imports of plant products from India.

The two countries may soon sign an MoU to resolve such issues in the future.

UNI XC KK DB2340

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