"It appears that some bilateral contacts between EU member states and Russia on sanitary and phytosanitary issues have taken place in the recent months without the Commission or the other member states being informed," the Commission said in its written answer to a parliamentary question from Bronis Ropė, a Lithuanian member of the European Parliament.
"The Commission will continue monitoring that certification for exports to Russia is done on the basis of sanitary conditions for export agreed at the EU level. The Commission has and will continue to discourage member states from entering in bilateral arrangements with Russia in this area," it said.
The Baltic countries and Poland in January voiced disappointment over possible bilateral agreements between other EU countries and Russia. What triggered their suspicions was a letter sent by Ladislav Miko, a top EU health and safety official, to Sergey Dankvert, head of Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary service Rosselkhoznadzor, in which, according to Lithuanian officials, it was proposed that Russia hold talks with individual countries.
Last August, Russia imposed an embargo on food products from the EU.
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