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Kazakhstan Suspends Poultry Imports From Russian Region

ASTANA -- Kazakhstan has suspended poultry imports from neighboring Russian region of Astrakhan, citing an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu there.

The Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture announced on April 30 that the poultry imports had been suspended as of April 28.

Last week, Kazakh authorities temporarily banned Russia-made butter, chocolate, candies, and mayonnaise, while Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor barred the import of 20 tons of wheat flour from Kazakhstan.

Earlier in April, Russian authorities suspended Kazakh dairy products imports to Russia.

Some media reports in Russia and Kazakhstan have called the situation a "trade war" between the two countries, which are close trade partners and founding members of a four-nation Eurasian Economic Union created this year on the basis of an existing customs union.

In separate statements last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Kazakh Deputy Economy Minister Qaiyrbek Oskenbaev said that there is no trade war and that the bans were motivated purely by health concerns.

With reporting by KazTAG
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