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Russia finishes talks on Polish meat ban

MOSCOW --Russian officials on Tuesday completed another round of talks with the European Union on Moscow's ban on Polish meat and plant products, saying that they need more information before they consider lifting the measure.

The two-day talks between Sergei Dankvert, the chief of Russia's agricultural oversight agency Rosselkhoznadzor, and the EU delegation led by deputy EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Paola Testori Coggi focused on the results of Russian food safety experts' trip to Poland last month.

The experts visited Polish meat processing plants and conducted talks to determine whether the ban should be lifted.

Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement Tuesday that it expected the EU to provide answers to questions raised by the Russian inspectors during the trip. The agency said it would decide whether to lift the ban after receiving the answers and studying it.

Russia has barred meat imports from Poland since late 2005, citing health concerns. The ban led Warsaw to veto the start of talks on a new EU-Russia partnership agreement that could address some of Europe's concerns about oil and gas supplies from Russia.

EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou has described the ban on Polish meat imports as unjustified, and has urged Russia to lift it.