TALLINN - Estonia's Foreign Ministry handed a note Monday to the Russian ambassador in Tallinn demanding an explanation for Moscow's ban on imports of Estonian fish and seafood.
Russia stopped fish and seafood imported from Estonia to Russia passing its border checkpoints on Friday evening, over alleged problems with forged documents and smuggling.
Estonia exports one fifth of its fish and seafood to Russia, which receives mainly Baltic sprats and herring.
Russia imposed a temporary ban on deliveries of canned fish produced by two factories in Latvia, Brivais Vilnis and Gamma-A in late October, saying their canned sprats contained high levels of benzopyrene, a carcinogenic substance.
Last week Russia and Latvia resolved their dispute over the quality of canned sprats imported from the ex-Soviet EU member.
"The issue of Latvian sprats has been settled," the Latvian ambassador said.
Andris Teikmanis said the two Latvian firms had produced low quality sprats, which did not comply with either Russian or Latvian quality standards.
The ambassador said a Latvian delegation arrived in Moscow last week to meet with Russia's consumer rights' watchdog, the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare.
"We basically had no questions for each other. There were some problems with the products of two Latvian firms, and we said so to our Russian colleagues," he said.
Teikmanis said a working expert group had been set up. "Experts have agreed to meet further, to monitor the quality of products and to work out a common standard for fish cans," the ambassador said.