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Azerbaijan, Russia to ink food safety deal

Food Safety Agency Head

Azerbaijan’s Food Safety Agency and Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor will sign a cooperation accord on the safe use of pesticides and agrochemicals with Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor, Food Safety Agency Head Goshgar Tahmazli said on September 1.

He added that under the new agreement, Azerbaijan cannot export fruits and vegetables containing pesticides, nitrates, and heavy metals to Russia that do not meet the local standards

Tahmazli noted that the problem emerged after the Russian federal law “On the safe use of pesticides and agrochemicals” was amended.

He said that according to the changes, fruit and vegetable producers should use only registered and internationally recognized pesticides and agrochemicals when growing crops.

The agency head said that due to the recent changes in legislation, information on pesticides used by 157 tomato, 86 apple and other crop producers were collected and submitted to Russia.

It should be noted that Russia’s agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned the import of Azerbaijani tomatoes and apples on December 10, citing the necessity to “prevent the import and spread” of pesticides to Russia.

Furthermore, Rosselkhoznadzor lifted the ban on tomato and apple imports from Azerbaijani enterprises, starting from June 15.

Azerbaijan is a major supplier of fruits and vegetables to Russia. The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia amounted to $2.6 billion in 2020, making Russia Azerbaijan’s third-largest partner. In addition, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $1.3 billion in the first half of 2021.

By Vugar Khalilov

About Fidan Abdullayeva