Egyptian team visits Russia to discuss trade tensions

Ahram Online , Sunday 25 Sep 2016

A file photo for harvest in Egypt (Reuters)

An Egyptian team is in Russia on Sunday to discuss a ban placed on Egyptian agricultural exports, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram has reported.

The Egyptian delegation comprises of officials from Egypt's agriculture and trade ministries as well as representatives of imports and exports departments and the Russian-Egyptian Business Council.

Russia said on 16 September it would temporarily suspend imports of fruit and vegetables from Egypt starting 22 September.

The move came shortly after Cairo, the world's largest wheat importer, tightened its regulations to ban any ergot fungus in imported wheat last month and has since failed to approve any Russian wheat shipments.

Egypt, like most countries, had previously accepted 0.05 percent of ergot fungus in imported wheat, a quantity considered harmless. The new policy has hurt Russia, which is one of major suppliers of wheat to Egypt.

In the past, Russia often imposed bans on agricultural imports amid political or trade disputes with other nations.

But there might be a change in the situation after Russia said on Friday it would resume supplying its wheat to Egypt after Cairo scrapped the restrictions, RIA news agency cited Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying.

Russia is also one of Egypt's main export markets for fruit. Cairo sold some $350 million in agricultural commodities last year to Moscow.

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