The plans of the Russian phytosanitary service Rosselchoznadzor to ban imports of flowers from some European Union (EU) countries, including Lithuania, may have something to do with politics, says Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"There are very many coincidences: when some country states a stronger position on any issue, problems emerge in the field of phytosanitary," Linkevičius told BNS.

He notes that the Netherlands, Belgium, Ukraine and Australia have lately been actively proposing at the United Nations (UN) Security Council to establish an independent tribunal within the council to investigate the downing of the MH17 passenger plane over eastern Ukraine a year ago, adding that "not everyone is happy" with the idea.

"I am listing these facts separately, but it is difficult not to see a connection between them, knowing from experience that often things happening on the political arena are linked to something that should not have anything in common," said the minister.

"It is becoming a sad tradition, which I hope will be reversed. If there are no or fewer coincidences of this type in the future, nobody will draw any parallels between politics and technical matters," he added.

Rosselchoznadzor authorities voiced their plans to ban imports of flowers from the Netherlands, hinting that the bans may also be extended to flowers and plants from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

Linkevičius also noted that Russia tends to distort facts about Lithuania, dismissing the public statement made by the Russian Kaliningrad region's Governor Nikolai Tsukanov about Lithuania's population having shrunk to 1.4 million residents as a "sad mistake".

"The governor's mistake may be just a mistake. The person a number two times off the mark. Let's hope he's more precise in other aspects and avoids such sad mistakes in the future," Linkevičius told BNS on Tuesday.

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