SEED potato exporters have been told “very clearly” they should disinvest from Russia, a minister has said, following reports that 2000 tonnes of Scottish produce will be sent there.

Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said the Scottish Government did not approve export deals but was required to carry out checks on goods being sent abroad.

At the weekend, The Times reported that the food and drinks giant Pepsi was exporting 2000 tonnes of Scottish seed potatoes to Russia in a deal with the Aberdeen-based Saltire Seed.

The deal is thought to be worth £600,000 and the goods are expected to be transported by lorry.

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Scottish Conservative MSP, Sue Webber, asked about the exports in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

She said: “The war in Ukraine has highlighted the need to support our farmers and growers to help deal with crises like this – inflationary pressure and the market volatility that they’re facing.

“Will the Cabinet Secretary also promise that her Government will not approve any more deals to send thousands of seed potatoes to Russia?”

Gougeon said: “The Scottish Government does not approve export deals.

“We’ve led calls for businesses to disinvest from Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

“We’ve communicated that very clearly to the seed potato suppliers concerned.

“The Scottish Government and its economic agencies will use all of its economic powers not to support trade and investment activity within Russia.”

She said Scottish Government officials were required to carry out inspections where companies decided to export goods.