Russia bans pork imports from Britain for fear of swine flu

Russia's veterinary watchdog is extending its ban of pork imports to include Britain over fears of a spread of the deadly swine flu virus, the watchdog said on Tuesday. "We have closed [our borders] to one more EU country - Britain," Nikolai Vlasov, Russia's chief veterinary inspector, told a news conference, Russian news agencies reported. His press spokesman later confirmed the comments. Britain has 18 confirmed cases of the virus. Russia's ban of live and raw meat imports has affected exporters of pork, beef and poultry in Mexico, where the virus is believed to have orginated, Central American countries, the United States, Canada and Spain, mirroring the spread of swine flu.