Kyiv, March 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine will retain its ban on the supply of dairy products from Belarus despite Minsk's warning that it will take counter measures, according to Ivan Bisiuk, the chairman of the State Veterinary and Biosecurity Service of Ukraine.
"You will open access to your market against our guarantees, and if you don’t do this by 1500 on Monday [March 5], we’ll block supplies of sunflower oil, salt, maize, oilseed meal and confectioneries, as we’ve already prepared a corresponding instruction," he citied a statement from his Belarusian counterparts at a press conference in Kyiv on Saturday.
He said Ukraine will not cancel sanctions without the Belarusian side’s providing proof that is has taken the proper steps to ensure the quality and safety of its dairy foods.
He said that the Ukrainian side had offered Belarus a list of measures, the implementation of which would allow Ukraine to consider the possibility of lifting the ban on Belarusian dairy foods.
Bisiuk believes that if Belarus agreed to the offer, Ukraine could return to the issue of opening its border to Belarusian products three or four weeks later.
As reported, the State Veterinary and Biosecurity Service of Ukraine on March 1, 2012, temporarily halted shipments of milk and dairy foods, as well as animals susceptible to African swine fever and products made of them, from Belarus to Ukraine.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in turn said that the ban on the import of Belarusian meat and dairy foods was a temporary limitation.