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Russia Says Dutch Flowers May Be Banned

Russia says it is considering banning imports of cut flowers from The Netherlands, a move that would aggravate tensions between the two countries already at odds over the downing of flight MH17.

Russia's agriculture watchdog said a ban is a possibility, although it denied earlier media reports that a ban already was in place.

A Rosselkhoznadzor official told RIA-Novosti on July 27 that it has asked the European Union to review the certification process for Dutch flower exports to Russia.

The agency is concerned about the alleged presence of "quarantined organisms" in the flowers.

Relations between the two countries have been tense since the July 2014 downing of a Malaysian passenger airliner over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers died in that disaster, most of them Dutch citizens.

Russia denies involvement and has accused the Ukrainian military of shooting the plane down.

Based on reporting by RIA-Novosti and AP

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