Russia’s Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev hopes the People’s Republic of China will open its market for Russian supplies of meat and poultry within the nearest months.

“We’ve managed to agree on coming to the level of legalization. China is making a concession by allowing supplies of pork to this or that Chinese province from those (Russian) regions that have never seen the African swine fever, and the same with poultry. I think we’ve come up trumps with the Chinese veterinarians,” he said in an interview aired by the Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Thursday, adding that “almost all restrictions have been lifted” and “the poultry market will hopefully be opened as well within several months.”

According to Tkachev, some Russian regions are still having problems with the spread of the African swine fever virus. “Clearly China is protecting its market being afraid of the disease that may ruin the whole sector,” he said.

Russia has long been facing the same issue regarding beef until it was acknowledged as a country without hoof-and-mouth disease, the minister said. “This has always affected exports, but now we can enter not only the Chinese market but also the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Asian-Pacific Region with those products,” he said.