IN SHORT

Another 11 Slovak food producers allowed

THE RUSSIAN Federation has granted licences for food exports to Russia to 11 more Slovak food processing companies, bringing the number of Slovak companies exporting to Russia to 22.

The certificates involve producers of dairy and meat products, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexander Petrovic Kozlov told the TASR news wire after a meeting with Slovak Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon in Bratislava on February 21.

Russia opened its gates to additional food producers on the basis of an agreement between Simon and his Russian counterpart, Alexej Gordejev, in Moscow in October 2005. At their meeting, Simon asked Gordejev to re-evaluate Russia's stance on imports of Slovak food.

Russia does not recognise the EU's unified food facility certification, which is based on internal EU criteria.

Food exports to Russia are impossible without a certificate or a licence from the Russian Federal Food Authority.

"Russia's market is interesting for Slovakia because of its size and geographic proximity. We believe that other Slovak producers will be allowed to export to Russia in future. The Agriculture Ministry will help Slovak companies to achieve this," Simon said.

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