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Russia’s Public Chamber receives 200 food price complaints

August 26, 2014, 13:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Most complaints (43%) are about increases in the prices of poultry, especially chicken meat

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© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, August 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Public Chamber has received about 200 complaints over food price hikes in the country in the past ten days after Russia imposed an embargo on food imports in response to western sanctions, the organization said on Tuesday.

The Public Chamber, which has set up a hotline for monitoring food prices, also said that it had not registered any “massive complaints about food price increases” in the country.

Most complaints (43%) are about increases in the prices of poultry, especially chicken meat. In particular, chicken meat prices grew by 25% over the month in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the East Siberian Republic of Buryatia, compared with the average increase in the prices of these products by 2.1% across the country as reported by Russia’s State Statistics Service (Rosstat).

The largest number of such complaints came from Moscow, the Primorye Territory in the Russian Far East and the southern Krasnodar Territory.

Over 23% of all complaints are about vegetable and fruit price hikes, although August is a traditional month for a seasonal decline in the prices of these products, the Public Chamber said.

Complaints about meat and meat product price increases are next on the complaint list with 22% These complaints are mostly coming from residents of the southern Stavropol Territory and the Khabarovsk Territory in the Russian Far East and the city of Norilsk in Russia’s Far North.

Fish (15%) and dairy products (14%) are the last food items on the complaint list.

Public Chamber Social Support and Life Quality Commission Chairman Vladimir Slepak said there were no objective reasons for price hikes in the country at present. He said “it is possible to talk about some unscrupulous entrepreneurs who have initiated pricing decisions apparently expecting that buyers will not be vigilant enough.”

All information received from consumers is sent to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and the Prosecutor General’s Office for a check, he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in early August to ban for one year the imports of agricultural, raw and food products from the countries that imposed sanctions against Russia over its stance on the developments in neighboring Ukraine.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that the Russian government had imposed a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.

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