Russia intensifies checks on Dutch flowers
From today Russia will be performing intensified checks on Dutch flowers before allowing them into the country. The Dutch flower industry is concerned that this move will do significant harm to the trade, NOS reports. "I expect congestion at the border", Robert Roodenburg of the Association of Wholesale Trade in Horticultural Products said to the broadcaster. "And that's bad because flowers are fresh products. Every day they have to sit in a truck reduces their value. And you can throw them away after a few days." "If Russian customers can't get their ordered flowers across the border, they will not place new orders." According to Roodenburg, the severity of the intensified checks and its effect on flower trade remain to be seen. Last week the Russian agricultural inspection agency Rosselchoznadzor announced that it has requested a consultation with the European Commission on the safety of importing Dutch flower. According to the watchdog, Dutch flowers contain pests that poses a serious risk to Russia's economy and agriculture. Agricultural and horticultural organization LTO believes that Russia's concerns about Dutch flowers are politically motivated as they closely followed the Netherlands' call to establish an international tribunal for the prosecution of those responsible for the downing of flight MH17. Russia vetoed the establishment in the United Nations Security Council. About 5 percent of the Dutch flower exports go to Russia. Last year the country imported about 205 million euros in Dutch flowers.