(QHA) -

Russia’s agricultural watchdog says it will ban the import of numerous meat products from the European Union as of October 21, citing safety concerns.

The banned EU products include pork, chicken, and beef fats, and offal, according to the government watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor. Inspectors found banned and harmful substances in these imports, the agency said.

"Safety rules were broken," agency spokesman Alexei Alekseyenko told the French news agency AFP.

The United States and EU have slapped several rounds of sanctions on Russia in response to its role in the conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

Russia responded earlier this year by banning certain U.S. and EU food products.

Western governments have long accused Russia of using alleged safety concerns as a pretext for leveling politically motivated bans on foreign food imports.

QHA