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Russia bans food imports from Australia, Canada, EU, US, Norway

August 07, 2014, 12:35 UTC+3

Government ready to revise one-year term of farm product import ban if situation changes

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MOSCOW, August 07./ITAR-TASS/.  The Russian government has approved the list of foreign agricultural products on which Russian sanctions are imposed, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

Thus, the government has fulfilled President Vladimir Putin’s decree of August 6 “On separate special economic measures for ensuring Russia’s security.” The document imposes one-year restrictions on the import of agricultural products from the states that supported anti-Russian sanctions. The decree says that the measures are taken “for the protection of the national interests of the Russian Federation.”

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.

The United States and the European Union, as well as Japan introduced a range of sanctions against Russia after Crimea’s merger with the country and over Moscow’s alleged involvement in armed standoff in Ukraine’s southeast.

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

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signs government resolution banning imports from Australia, Canada, EU, US and Norway for one year. Alcohol does not fall under ban on imports of food to Russia from EU and US.

We hoped until the very last moment that our foreign partners would realize that the path of sanctions is the path with the dead-end and nobody needs them Dmitry Medvedev Russian Prime Minister The Russian premier added that “the restrictions come into force as of today for the period of one year, but if our partners display a constructive approach toward cooperation then the Russian government will be ready to revise the terms of the imposed measures.”

However, Russia’s newly imposed sanctions, he said, are not in force to baby foods and all products, which people could buy abroad.

“I would like to particularly point out that these measures are omitting baby foods and certainly are not in force to products, which [Russian] people are buying abroad in these countries [subjected to sanctions],” he added.

Russia has long restrained from responding to the sanctions imposed by the West, Medvedev said.

“We hoped until the very last moment that our foreign partners would realize that the path of sanctions is the path with the dead-end and nobody needs them,” Medvedev said. “However, they failed to realize it”.


Putin's decree

Infographics Economical sanctions against Russia

Economical sanctions against Russia

The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree on countermeasures to Western sanctions.

The document entitled “On the Application of Certain Special Economic Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation” prohibits or restricts, for one year, the import of certain kinds of agricultural products, raw materials and food originating in a country that has imposed economic sanctions against Russian companies and (or) individuals or has joined such sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government on Tuesday to consider measures in retaliation to western sanctions against Russia.

‘I have formulated this instruction today,” Putin said. 

“Political instruments of pressure on the economy are unacceptable and contradict all norms and rules. In this connection, the Russian government has already proposed a number of measures in retaliation to the so-called sanctions by some countries,” Putin said.

“I believe we could quite think about it in the current conditions to secure the interests of domestic commodity producers,” the head of the Russian state said.

The Russian president also said that Russia’s response to western sanctions should be “accurate.”


EU reaction

Banning imports of food and agricultural products from the European Union “may mean a loss of billions of euros both for European and Russian consumers”, the source said.

Russia is Europe's second largest market for food and drink. According to European Commission figures, exports of food products to Russia were worth $7.4 billion in 2013.

The EU is ready to appeal to the World Trade Organization to have the Russian agriculture import bans lifted. 

The EU Council may convene an urgent meeting in connection with Russia's response to European sanctions.

It is early to say whether the EU will take measures in response to the Russian ban on imports of food products from Europe, source told.

“First, it is necessary to see and analyze the official list of product that Moscow intends to ban. After that, decisions will be made both at the European and the national level,” the source stressed.


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