Commission Midday Express (MEX/06/1220), 20 December 2006
In Moscow on 19 December, European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou reached an agreement in principle with Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev to secure the continuation of EU exports of animal products to Russia after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007. The verbal agreement remains subject to finalisation by experts with a view to a Memorandum of Understanding being signed by the services of the Commission and the Russian Ministry of Agriculture at the 'Green Week' in Berlin on 18 January. Mr Kyprianou stressed the importance of meeting this deadline and if possible signing the Memorandum even earlier. Commissioner Kyprianou and Minister Gordeyev agreed that their meeting was a good opportunity for an exchange of views on similar concerns and that their services would start to work together already tomorrow morning in Moscow on the Memorandum of Understanding. Commissioner Kyprianou said: "We managed to resolve this issue because we share the same concerns and have the same target, which is to reduce risks but at the same time maintain trade. We appreciate the confidence that the Russian authorities have shown in our high veterinary and food safety standards, which while protecting ourselves also protect Russia ."