MOSCOW, August 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s ban on western food imports will have limited effect on consumer prices, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Wednesday.
“I don’t think we should fear running short of this or that product,” he told Rossiya 24 TV news channel. “Prices may rise a little. According to our estimates, even if they grow, this (the growth) will be very insignificant and only in the short term. Prices will then stabilize at the previous level,” he said.
However, the range of goods in Russian supermarkets would change, he added. “The assortment will change partly - there will be less of something and more of something else, but this is a normal process,” he said, noting the extent of Russian dependence on imported food.
Russia buys nearly 4% of potatoes and up to 30% of beef from abroad alongside some 20% of dairy products, 20% of pork and about 10% of poultry, Dvorkovich said.
The ban announced last week bars imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway for 12 months in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations on Russia over the events in Ukraine.
Combined with other import bans imposed earlier this year, the new trade measures cover western imports worth $9.1 billion in 2013, according to Russian customs data.