Russia's food safety watchdog has banned fruit and vegetables imports from Egypt over sanitary concerns, following an earlier decision by Egypt that hurt Russian wheat imports.
Rosselkhoznadzor, the state agricultural safety agency, said Friday that imports of Egyptian plant products will be banned starting next Thursday until Egypt's authorities take steps to ensure their safety.
The move comes after Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, changed its import regulations to ban any ergot fungus in imported wheat. It had previously accepted 0.05 percent of it in imported wheat, a level considered harmless. The new policy hurt Russia, which is one of major supplier of wheat to Egypt, and others.
In the past, Russia often slapped bans on agricultural imports amid political or economic disputes with other nations, citing sanitary reasons.
Egypt's agriculture ministry spokesman Eid Hawwash was quoted in several media outlets as saying that Cairo has not rececived any official complaint from Moscow about the imports and has not been officially notified of such decison.
*This story has been edited by Ahram Online