MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia may significantly increase imports of seafood, fruit, vegetables, and flowers from Ecuador, Russia's agriculture watchdog said in a statement Thursday.
"In the past years, vegetable and fruit products started appearing in the canned and frozen forms, which expands the assortment range. The direct deliveries of flowers bypassing European intermediaries are of a particular interest," Sergei Dankvert, the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, said in the statement after meeting with Ecuador's Ambassador to Moscow Patricio Chavez.
The ambassador, in his turn, emphasized the high quality of Ecuador's foods.
"Rosselkhoznadzor will be presented with a list of products that Ecuador can export to Russia, and a list of enterprises ready to supply such produce. The main problem that needs to be solved in order to ensure uninterrupted deliveries is the creation of new logistical capabilities," Chavez said.
A trade route between Russia's St Petersburg and Ecuador's Guayaquil is already functioning.
The ambassador said the countries could potentially even switch to payments if US dollars as they increase mutual trade in light of Russia's new embargo on imports of products from the United States, Europe and other countries, introduced on Thursday.
Russia's one-year ban targets the imports of beef, pork, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts, as well as cheese and other dairy from the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. The embargo does not include alcoholic beverages, infant foods and products.
At the height of the Ukrainian crisis, the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian officials, business people and companies and pressed for the allies in the West to follow its lead. The European Union, Canada, and Australia soon caved in to the US sanctions push and drew up their own blacklists.
Moscow said it is ready to review the terms of its import restrictions if Western partners show commitment to dialogue. The Kremlin has repeatedly called Western sanctions counterproductive and stressed that Russia was never involved in the Ukrainian conflict.