HELSINKI, August 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian sanctions in retaliation to European Union's measures might plunge the Finnish economy into even worse recession, an economist said on Monday.
"Russia’s countermeasures and slumping economy have greatly impacted Finland, causing weaker exports, transit trade and tourism," Juha Vartia said in a press release by Finland's Central Union of Business Life. "The crisis might push the unstable economy further towards recession."
Russia has been Finland's key trade partner since 2007, with Finnish food exports to Russia reaching €400 million last year. In early 2014, food imports continued to increase totaling €170 million in the first five months, reflecting at least a 5% increase year-on-year, the customs said.
In January through May, meat exports to Russia were worth €4 million, a 33% increase year-on-year. Exports of Finnish dairy products jumped by 24% to €24 million and exports of cheese by 9% to €55 million.
On August 7, Russia announced a total ban on supplies of beef, pork, vegetables, poulty, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the EU, Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA. The measure was a retaliation for the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia over events in Ukraine.