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Western countries harm themselves sanctioning Russia — Putin

November 18, 2014, 17:24 UTC+3

Russia wouldn't have imposed a ban on food imports from sanctioning countries if Russian agribusiness couldn't handle it

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin


MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. The Russian agribusiness is capable of making up for a shortfall of products hit by Russia’s food embargo in response to western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

“If we and I didn’t feel that Russia’s agribusiness is capable of solving these tasks, we would not have imposed any counter sanctions as in this case it would have cost us much and we would have created a problem for ourselves,” Putin said at a meeting of the All-Russian People’s Front political movement.

“Naturally, we need to take advantage of this,” Putin said.

Western countries that imposed sanctions against Russia actually did themselves harm as Moscow took advantage of their “incorrect” behavior and responded with a food embargo, which hurt their positions on the Russian agricultural market, Putin said.

Russian agribusiness has demonstrated good growth rates in recent years, Putin said.

“It became clear that our agriculture was capable of coping with the tasks the country faces in that sphere,” Putin said, apparently meaning the goal to substitute food imports with domestic supplies.

Russia introduced a package of counter-measures on August 7 in retaliation to the sanctions imposed by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway against Moscow over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine.

Russia’s counter-sanctions involve a one-year ban on food and agricultural imports from the countries that slapped sanctions against Moscow.

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