MOSCOW - Russia is considering temporary limits on Australian beef imports after detecting a productivity stimulant it prohibits, its veterinary and phytosanitary service (VPSS) said on Friday.
The statement comes two days after Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Australia would join the United States and European Union in imposing sanctions over Russia's role in Crimea.
Australia is the world's third-largest beef exporter after the United States and Brazil. More than 20 Australian firms are currently allowed to supply beef to Russia. Russia does not provide breakdowns by country of its food imports.
Experts of VPSS consider it expedient to impose temporary limits on Australian beef imports, VPSS said, because of the presence of the stimulant Trenbolone. A decision is expected next week, VPSS spokesman Alexei Alekseenko told Reuters.
Earlier on Friday Russia allowed US pork imports only from two firms of Chinese-owned producer Smithfield Foods Inc, amid the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.
Russia banned the import of beef by-products from Australia, citing concerns over Trenbolone, on Jan 27.
Most countries permit the use of Trenbolone but Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States prohibit its presence in beef imports, analysts said previously.