Russia has begun buying bananas from India and will boost such imports, its food safety watchdog said on Tuesday, after a spat with its biggest supplier Ecuador over the latter’s decision to swap Russian-made military hardware with the United States.
The first batch of bananas from India was shipped to Russia in January and the next is planned for end-February, Russian watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said, adding that “the volume of exports of Indian bananas to the Russian market will increase.”
Rosselkhoznadzor last week suspended banana imports from five Ecuadorian companies, saying it had detected pests in their products.
Ecuador’s food safety agency said on Tuesday only 0.3% of banana shipments to Russia were found to contain insects and didn’t pose a risk, according to Ecuadorian media reports.
The suspensions came after Moscow condemned a pact under which Ecuador will hand over Russian-made military hardware, dubbed by Ecuador as “Ukrainian and Russian scrap metal,” to the United States in exchange for advanced U.S. equipment worth $200 million.
The United States has said the arms from Ecuador would help Ukraine bolster its forces on the battlefield against Russia.