ST. PETERSBURG, June 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Agriculture Ministry sees no need to extend the list of foodstuffs banned for imports, if the food embargo is prolonged, Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov said in an interview with TASS at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.
"I believe this is enough for the first time. I’m not inclined today to exaggerate something. This is not the situation [there is no expediency] for including [into the sanctions list] the new types of foodstuffs and products banned for imports into Russia," the minister said.
Russia’s existing food import ban list is big enough and the Russian authorities had time to think over its structure and necessary amendments and adjustments were made to it, the agriculture minister said.
"I believe what was listed before is quite enough at least for this period," Tkachyov said.
Russia imposed a package of countermeasures on August 7, 2014 in response to the sanctions introduced by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway over Moscow’s stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine.
Russia’s countermeasures involved a one-year ban on the import of vegetables and fruit, dairy and meat products from these countries. Certain kinds of finished products made of meat (except for sausage) and fish were not covered by the ban.
The Russian government softened its food embargo later that month by excluding concentrates of vegetable and animal protein, sports nutrition, lactose-free milk and vitamin-mineral complexes from the list of banned imports. Russia also lifted the ban on the supply of seed potatoes, onion sets, hybrid sugar corn and peas for sowing.