Russia threatened on Monday to slap sanctions on vegetable imports from Tajikistan, a move that comes shortly after the jailing of a Russian pilot in the Central Asian republic.
Russian pilot Vladimir Sadovnichy and another pilot, an Estonian national, were sentenced to eight and a half years in prison in Tajikistan for smuggling and border violations on November 8. Moscow said the charges were "politically motivated.”
Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring, Rosselkhoznadzor, said it may impose temporary restrictions on vegetable imports from Tajikistan in connection with what it called "violations" of hygiene regulations.
In a much publicized move, Russia has also deported at least 300 Tajik migrant workers following the jailing. President Dmitry Medvedev said then the expulsion of the Tajik migrant workers had nothing to do with the pilot case. He also said that illegal migrants would be deported regularly from now on.