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Lithuania to seek diplomatic solution on pork imports to Poland

Staff Writer |
Vilnius may take retaliatory measures against Poland's ban on pig meat and pig imports from most of Lithuania after exhausting all diplomatic efforts, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said LRT Radio, reffered LETA/BNS.

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"The steps being taken by the neighboring country go against European law. Besides, we have not received any reasoned answers as to why such steps were taken," Skvernelis told.

"We have not yet exhausted all diplomatic possibilities and we will exhaust them in any case. If no (agreement is reached), Lithuania will have to take certain measures as well," he said.

In mid-December, Poland imposed a ban on importing pig meat and pigs from Lithuania's Part II area, where African Swine Fever is present in wild boars. The area covers the northeastern and central parts of Lithuania and some of the southern part.

Skvernelis said he planned to discuss the issue with his Polish counterpart in the coming days.

The Lithuanian prime minister made it clear that Poland would not benefit from taking such unilateral decisions.

"The pork export-import balance is not favorable to Poland, because we import more pork from Poland than we export to it," he said.

Agriculture Minister Giedrius Surplys told last week that Lithuania would consider retaliatory measures if its diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement with the neighboring country failed.

Under the EU rules, countries are allowed to trade in pigs and pig carcasses from the so-called Part II area after obtaining approval from the importing country's veterinary authorities and providing documents that the meat meets the safety and quality requirements.

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