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Russia bans import of processed Ukrainian fruit and vegetables

 Russia on Monday (July 28) slapped a ban on the import of processed fruit and vegetables from Ukraine in the latest of a series of trade restrictions as Kiev deepens ties with the European Union. The ban will come into force on July 29.

MOSCOW: Russia on Monday (July 28) slapped a ban on the import of processed fruit and vegetables from Ukraine in the latest of a series of trade restrictions as Kiev deepens ties with the European Union.

Russia's food and agricultural inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor said it found a series of labelling violations as well as contents not meeting standards concerning fat, salt, vitamins and minerals. The ban, to come into force on July 29, also concerns preserved fish.

The latest restriction follows a bloc on imports of Ukrainian dairy products over the level of antibiotics last week, as well as all plant products in hand luggage. Earlier this month, Moscow banned the import of potatoes from Ukraine, citing a pest outbreak.

Russia has heaped pressure on Ukraine not to ratify a trade pact with the EU after Kiev signed an Association Agreement with Brussels last month. Last week, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that Moscow may be "forced to take protective measures" after Ukraine abandoned a customs union that links several ex-Soviet states.

Officials have suggested all Ukrainian food imports could be banned.

Russia earlier this month banned meat and fruit imports from Moldova, another ex-Soviet state that also signed an EU Association Agreement.

Russia has frequently blocked food imports citing health concerns, sparking accusations from its partners of using trade as a political weapon.

Its consumer watchdog said Friday it is suing American food chain McDonalds for quality violations, which come as the US increases sanctions against Russia over its backing of rebels in Ukraine.

The World Trade Organization has also been called in to settle two trade disputes between Russia and the EU. 

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