Moscow, Nov 22 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia will soon lift a ban on British meat imports imposed 16 years ago over mad cow disease, the country's food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said Thursday.
The decision was taken following negotiations in Moscow with a delegation led by British Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens.
Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Alexei Yeryomenko said: "Today a decision was made to lift the ban on the imports of beef and mutton from the UK into Russia soon. Now we need to coordinate the move with our colleagues from the Customs Union."
"We have accepted guarantees from the British side."
The lifting of the ban is a matter of a few days. "This issue will be resolved within the week," he said.
Russia plans to lift the ban on meat supplies from two British companies, he said, without specifying the businesses.
British farmers have been prevented from exporting live cattle, meat and products to Russia following the 1996 outbreak in Britain of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease.
In humans, it can lead to the incurable Creutzfeldt−Jakob disease, a degenerative neurological disorder.
There have been no recorded instances of mad cow disease in Russia, according to Russian authorities.