Russia ready to lift ban on Indian plant imports

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Moscow, Feb 7: Russia is ready to lift the ban on plant imports from India, imposed following the discovery of a live carp beetle in a rice consignment on January 28.

Russia's agricultural watchdog-- Rosselkhoznadzor-- said Moscow would resume imports of Indian tobacco, onions, dried mushrooms, and mixed vegetables once India provides ''documentation for the official investigation.'' Director of Russian Tobacco Corporation Vadim Zhelnin had criticised the ban on tobacco imports, saying the move could jeopardise cigarette production of certain popular Russian brands, Ria Novosti reported.

India has pledged enhanced measures to improve safety standards of agri-exports to Russia.

Russia imports rice, tea, coffee, tobacco and spices, mainly grown by farmers in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. The ban came ahead of Russian Prime Minister Victor Zubkov's visit to India to inaugurate Year of Russia in India.


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