Russia's agricultural watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, has raised concerns about a significant surge in shipments of plant products with pests from Armenia. This year alone, harmful organisms were found in Armenian floral and fruit-vegetable products in 72 instances, with a sharp increase in violations noted in November. Rosselkhoznadzor detected 36 cases of contaminated flowers, cucumbers, dried fruits, grapes, cauliflowers, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, apples, and pears entering Russia between November 24 and 26, accompanied by phytosanitary certificates issued by Armenia's food safety inspection authority.
Quarantine pests such as the eastern fruit moth, pepino mosaic virus, tomato brown rugose fruit virus, and western flower thrips were identified in Armenian plant products. Additionally, November saw five cases of exceeding permissible pesticide residue levels in tomatoes, strawberries, apples, and grapes, indicating potential violations of pesticide application regulations by Armenian producers.
Rosselkhoznadzor has sent an official letter to Armenia, urging immediate measures to prevent shipments of contaminated products to Russia and requesting information on investigations into these issues. Despite this, phytosanitary controls at the border remain unchanged. Armenia plans to discuss the matter within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to understand changes in regulations and address the tightened scrutiny. The situation could prompt Armenian producers to reconsider export destinations and explore new markets.