MOSCOW – For the first time in 10 years, Russia will import pork from China to replace imports from the US and Europe banned as part of the standoff with the West over the ongoing Ukraine crisis, reports

Russia’s consumer watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor website confirmed that 800 tons of pork imports to Russia from China have resumed for the first time since 2004. China is the world’s largest pork producer In 2013, that nation produced 68 million tons – approximately 50 percent of the world’s pork.

Russia banned Chinese meat imports in 2004 due to foot-and-mouth disease concerns. Swine flu struck Chinese pigs in 2009 and in 2003 the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak had also caused pork-import concerns.

However, Russia agreed to resume pork imports from China in August, and gave two Chinese companies permission to sell pork in Russia.