MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s food standards agency said Wednesday it is tightening checks on dairy imports from the Netherlands, a decision made against the backdrop of increasingly strained relations between the two nations.
Rosselkhoznadzor chief Sergei Dankvert said preliminary inspections have revealed shortcomings in checks on dairy goods by the Dutch authorities.
“The veterinary services of that country [the Netherlands] are signing off on documents without looking at the products," Dankvert said.
Ties between Russia and the Netherlands have been severely tested by the arrest this weekend in The Hague of a Russian diplomat that has drawn angry demands for apologies from Moscow. Russia's Foreign Ministry said the incident marks a crude violation of diplomatic immunity.
Last week, the Dutch government said that it had initiated legal proceedings against Russia at the United Nations over what it said was the illegal seizure by the Russian authorities of a Dutch-registered icebreaker belonging to environmental campaign group Greenpeace. The detention of Greenpeace activists on charges of piracy has drawn much international criticism.
Dutch dairy producers are not alone in feeling the wrath of Moscow recently.
Russia’s consumer safety watchdog said Monday it was ordering a ban on Lithuanian dairy products over doubts about their safety. Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite told the United Nations last month that Russian action against Vilnius’ exports were an attempt to put political pressure on the country.