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Russia Agrees To Accept EU Meat Imports

A meat market in St. Petersburg (epa) December 19, 2006 -- Russian Agriculture Minister Aleksei Gordeyev says Russia and the European Union have reached an agreement that will allow European meat imports to continue to enter the Russian market without interruption after January 1.

Gordeyev made the announcement in Moscow after talks with visiting EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.

EU officials made no immediate comments. Russia has said it is worried that products from Romania and Bulgaria, which join the bloc next year, are unsafe.

Moscow has already imposed a ban on Polish exports, leading Warsaw to block the start of EU-Russia negotiations on a new trade and energy agreement.

(AFP, AP, ITAR-TASS, Interfax)