MOSCOW/ATHENS (Reuters) - Russia has banned soy imports from Ukraine and may impose restrictions on Greek fruits and U.S. poultry next week, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, in what could be responses to new Western sanctions.
Russia has already announced several bans on food imports following Western sanctions over Moscow's support of rebels in Ukraine. [ID:nL6N0Q62QG]
It has decided to suspend Ukrainian soy, soymeal and sunseed imports starting from Aug. 1 due to a breach of phytosanitary requirements, Interfax reported, citing the Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS).
Ukraine exported 1.2 million tonnes of soy in 2013, of which 141,000 tonnes went to Russia, according to Ukragroconsult consultancy data. Russia had previously banned Ukrainian dairy and juice supplies from July 29.
VPSS also may restrict fruit imports from Greece next week, RIA news agency reported, citing the watchdog agency.
VPSS has found signs of certain quarantine-linked pests such as moths in Greek nectarines, and U.S. poultry imports may be suspended due to signs certain antibiotics were used, according to the reports.
Greece exported about 160,000 tonnes of fruit to Russia last year worth 180 million euros ($241 million), said George Polychronakis, an adviser at Greece's fruit exports association Incofruit-Hellas.
VPSS may suspend U.S. poultry imports next week, Interfax said. Russia imported U.S. chicken meat worth $71 million in January through April, Interfax said.
Russia's VPSS could not immediately be reached for comment.
Reporting by Polina Devitt; Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou in Athens and Pavel Polityuk in Kiev; Editing by Maria Kiselyova and Jane Baird