Moreover, it has suspended the imports of seedlings, including fruiting trees and shrubs, ornamental and potted plants.
According to Gintaras Lapinskas, the head of the Phytosanitary Division of the State Plant Service of Lithuania, this marks the first case where Russia has banned imports of potatoes from the entire European Union, including Lithuania.
Russia claims that phytosanitary requirements applied by the European Commission (EC) are not acceptable to Russia and the entire Customs Union. Russian officials state that those requirements do not guarantee the safety of plant products sold to Russia – absence of any disease excitants, in particular those requiring quarantine.
Russia suspects that a grower from one EU Member State sent infected potatoes through many intermediaries before they reached Russia. The golden nematode, one of the world’s most damaging potato pests, was found twice in potatoes delivered from the Netherlands in June.