* Polish deputy PM: signs that Moscow to block transit goods
* Polish transport asscn: Russia blocking transit of some
* Russian Customs Services says allows transit of goods
(Adds Polish firms and Russian customs)
By Wiktor Szary and Jakub Iglewski
WARSAW, Aug 20 Poland believes Russia may be
seeking to extend its ban on imports of food products from the
European Union to goods in transit through Russia, Deputy Prime
Minister Janusz Piechocinski said on Wednesday.
"We are receiving the first indications that Russia's
customs and other authorities are trying to widen the embargo
also to the transit of goods," Piechocinski told reporters, but
did not clarify where those indications were coming from.
"I will personally intervene on various diplomatic levels in
this case," said Piechocinski, adding that any "transport war"
would harm relations between the EU and a Customs Union of
former Soviet states that was set up by Russia, Kazakhstan and
Russia banned most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland
last month and extended the embargo to the rest of the European
Union this month in retaliation for Western sanctions against
Moscow over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.
Piechocinski has said previously that the ban could have 0.6
percentage points off Poland's gross domestic product this year.
Jan Buczek, head of the Polish Association of International
Road Transport Carriers said that Russia was now blocking the
transit of some embargoed goods to other countries, such as
Kazakhstan, Mongolia and the Caucasian countries.
"They are even stopping Polish carriers with cargos which
are not embargoed," he told Reuters.
Customs Union members Kazakhstan and Belarus did not join in
Russia's ban on foodstuffs from the EU.
In theory, Polish exports could be shipped to Belarus or
Kazakhstan and from there re-exported to Russia, side-stepping
Russia's Customs Service denied any wrongdoing. "We allow
transits (of banned food products)," Vladimir Zubkov, a
spokesman for the Customs Service, told Reuters when asked to
comment on the statement by the Polish Association.
(Reporting by Wiktor Szary and Jakub Iglewski; Additional
reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Marcin Goettig and Wiktor
Szary; Editing by Susan Fenton)