UPDATE 1-Russia stops Ukraine juice imports, latest ban after sanctions

Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:41am EDT

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MOSCOW, July 31 (Reuters) - Russia's consumer protection watchdog said on Thursday it had stopped imports of Ukrainian juice, Moscow's latest trade ban announced following new Western sanctions over Ukraine.

A day after banning imports of fruit and vegetables from Poland in what Warsaw said was retaliation for the sanctions, Russia's Rospotrebnadzor said imports of Ukrainian juice had been suspended on July 29 "to protect the rights of consumers".

"Ukrainian juice products had not undergone state registration for compliance with the technical regulations of the Customs Union," it said, referring to the trade union of several former Soviet states that Russian President Vladimir Putin had hoped Ukraine would one day join.

It said the ban included juice destined for children's fruit drinks.

The European Union and United States imposed sanctions aimed at broad sectors of Russia's economy this week, restricting sales of equipment for oil and defence sectors and limiting access by state banks to Western capital markets.

On Wednesday, Brussels also named more officials, allies of Putin, and companies put under sanctions.

Russia quickly targeted Poland, part of the Soviet bloc until just over two decades ago and a strident supporter of increased sanctions on Russia, with a ban on most fruit and vegetables which Warsaw said was politically motivated.

It is not the first time Ukraine, and other former Soviet states hoping to join Western organisations, have been slapped with trade bans by Russia.

Moscow, which made clear to Kiev that trade would suffer if it signed agreements with the EU, banned all dairy supplies from Ukraine earlier this month, citing a lack of quality control.

Last year Russia banned imports of sweets from the Roshen factory belonging to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, saying a carcinogenic substance had been found in its chocolate.

Imports of meat from Moldova, which has signed a free-trade and political cooperation agreement with the EU, have also been restricted. (Reporting by Polina Devitt, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Timothy Heritage)