MOSCOW, August 08, /ITAR-TASS/. The Association of European Business that unites more than 600 European companies working in Russia or with Russian partners on Friday called on the Russian and EU authorities to refrain from further tit-for-tat economic sanctions.
“The AEB strongly requests EU and Russian authorities to protect foreign investors from both sides from any further retaliatory measures,” the Association said in a release. An Association spokesman however told Itar-Tass that no official letters had been addressed directly to the authorities in Russia and the European Union. He said the organization hoped to bring its position via the mass media.
The Association is sure that Russia’s retaliatory sanctions against the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway will trigger price growth and will tell negatively on the quality and safety of foods in Russia. “The AEB predicts that this decision will not only hurt the EU economy, but will also restrict the ability of Russian consumers to choose from a broader range of food products. A narrower selection will lead to less competition and, consequently, to higher prices as well as having a negative impact on quality and safety,” it said in the release.
Set up in 1995, the Association of European Business represents more than 630 companies from the European Union countries and Russia. Its members are both big transnational corporations, medium and small businesses, including such food companies and retailers as Bonduelle, Nestle, Valio, and Auchan.
On August 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to ban or restrict for a term of one year the imports of agricultural produce, raw materials and foodstuffs from countries that joined the economic sanctions against Russia over its stance on Ukraine. In his order on special economic measures to ensure Russia’s security, Putin instructed the government to specify a list of food imports, which will be restricted or banned and also urged to take measures to restrain the food price growth in the country.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a government resolution imposing a complete one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, cheeses, poultry meat and fish from EU countries, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway. According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, these countries exported 9.1 billion U.S. dollar worth of products, which are now on the sanction list, in 2013, with the European Union countries accounting for 6.5 billion U.S. dollars of that sum. Other countries’ exports were much more moderate: Norway - 1.2 billion U.S. dollars, the United States - 843.8 million U.S. dollars, Canada - 373.6 million U.S. dollars, and Australia - 182 million U.S. dollars.