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St. Petersburg enterprises generally unaffected by Western sanctions — governor

December 29, 2014, 8:43 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
It is always possible to find an equipment replacement similar to the originals in countries, which did not join the sanctions, St. Petersburg's governor said in an interview
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© ITAR-TASS/Yury Belinsky

ST. PETERSBURG, December 29. /TASS/. Manufacturing enterprises in St. Petersburg were generally unaffected by Western sanctions imposed in regard to Russia, Georgy Poltavchenko, the governor of St. Petersburg, said.

“Our enterprises did not experience any considerable inconveniences,” Poltavchenko said in an interview with leading Russian media.

“I can only name separate instances, when shipbuilding enterprises experienced some difficulties,” he said. “They had a lot of components, which were purchased abroad and imported, including from the West and the United States.”

However, he said, it “is always possible to find an equipment replacement similar to the originals in countries, which did not join the sanctions.”

Many Russian regions have already taken active efforts for import substitution. The implementation of the import substitution program is facilitated by the active financing of production upgrade. The Russian industry is currently prioritizing efforts for its refocus on the production of equipment and machinery for other sectors.

Poltavchenko, the governor of Russia’s second largest city, said the domestic program of import substitution was so far a success.

“Many products, which our enterprises used to purchase abroad, are now purchased from Russian producers from other regions,” Poltavchenko said. “On top of all, Asian countries help us (Russia) to substitute products, which we used to purchase from the West.”

Authorities of St. Petersburg made an emphasis on the purchase of more goods and services from local producers for state needs to ensure the stable operation of the urban economy amid falling imports. They also focused on providing support for new project financing, increasing the share of innovative products, developing inter-regional cooperation in food supplies.

Twenty-two Russian regions have stated their readiness to supply foodstuffs to St. Petersburg instead of imported food barred by Russia’s embargo in response to western sanctions.

In response to Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on August 6 to ban for one year the imports of agricultural, raw and food products from the countries, which imposed sanctions against Russia.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced on August 7 that the Russian government 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.

The list of the banned products includes cattle meat (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), pork (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), poultry meat and all poultry edible by-products, salted meat, pickled meat, dried meat, smoked meat, fish and shell fish, clams and other water invertebrates, milk and dairy products, vegetables, edible roots and tuber crops, fruits and nuts, sausage and analogous meat products, meat by-products or blood, as well as products made of them, ready-to-eat products including cheeses and cottage-cheese based on vegetable fats.

Moscow repeatedly rejected the threats of broader sanctions saying the language of penalties is counterproductive and will strike back at Western countries.

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