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Russia to ban tomato imports from Iran over virus fears

A porter (C) carries baskets tomatoes coming from Iran at a vegetable market on the outskirts of Islamabad on 19 August 2020. [FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images]
A porter (C) carries baskets tomatoes coming from Iran at a vegetable market on the outskirts of Islamabad on 19 August 2020. [FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images]

The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) announced yesterday that it will impose a temporary ban on importing tomatoes from Iran over the discovery of Tobacco mosaic virus in the fruits.

In a statement, Rosselkhoznadzor said it had discussed the matter during negotiations with representatives of the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture, adding that an official notification will soon be delivered to Tehran regarding violations of international and Russian phytosanitary requirements.

"Rosselkhoznadzor reserves the right to impose temporary restrictions on importing these products from Iran," it added.

According to the food watchdog, the main exporting countries of tomatoes to Russia during the first nine months of 2020 have been Azerbaijan (38 per cent), Turkey (14 per cent), Morocco (ten per cent), China (nine per cent) and Belarus (seven per cent).

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