Russia goes bananas on Ecuador, prefers Indian fruits now

Russia has turned to India, a country that produces significant amount of bananas and other fruits, for fruit demands within the country, said a report. This has happened after Russia stopped import from Ecuador after not being thrilled that the latter sent Russian weapons and hardware to the US. Russia has since been looking for suppliers of not only bananas, but papayas, guavas, mangoes and pineapples.

A report in The Times of India has said that the first shipment of Indian bananas reached Russia in January and another is expected to reach this month.

“The volume of of exports of Indian bananas to the Russian market will increase,” said Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor as quoted in the report.

Although it is angry at Ecuador for geopolitical reason, Russia has obviously not said so officially. But it has been seen in past that Russia restricts food imports from countries it disagrees with.

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The Russian agricultural watchdog has reportedly claimed that Russia stopped banana import from Ecuadorian companies due detection of pests. Ecuador’s food safety authority has refuted Russian claim saying that there was no substantial risk arising from its fruit exports as insects were detected in very small per cent of consignments.

So why is Moscow angry?

Just last week, Ecuador decided to hand over Russian-made military hardware to the US. This will eventually be used in Ukraine, the country that Russia is currently invading.

Regarding the hardware as “Ukrainian and Russian scrap metal” , Ecuador said that it will be swapping it for advanced US equipment which is worth USD 200 million.

Russia reacted strongly on this and called the decision taken by Ecuador ‘reckless’.

Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman, told RIA that Ecuador’s decision was made under pressure from external forces.

“Such a reckless decision was taken by the Ecuadorian side under serious pressure from outside interested parties,” she said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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