Russia seizes 40 tonnes of embargoed European cheeses

MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday seized 40 tonnes of European cheeses smuggled into the country in breach of an embargo on EU food imports, the customs service said.

The cheese was found at a port near the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg in four containers labelled as a component used to produce rubber.

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The shipment included Dorblu blue cheese and Italian hard cheeses such as Grana Padano, the customs service said.

The shipment included Dorblu blue cheese and Italian hard cheeses such as Grana Padano. (AFP Photo)

It published a video of a sniffer dog eagerly running up to piles of boxes, with an officer opening them to reveal round packaged cheeses.

The containers also contained instant coffee, chocolate biscuits and washing-up liquid, pictures showed.

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Russia in 2014 banned wholesale imports from the European Union of most types of fresh foods.

This was in response to EU sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine including the annexation of Crimea.

The customs operation also involved FSB security services, the customs service said in a statement.

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