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Possibility of Russia’s ban on European, US car deliveries real — lawmaker

August 19, 2014, 19:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The MP said it was quite possible that the Russian government can ban car, tobacco and wine imports from the European Union and the United States

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MOSCOW, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. A Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday that a possibility was real for Russia’s ban on car, tobacco and wine imports from the European Union and the United States in response to the West’s sanctions policy.

Vladimir Gutenev, who is first deputy chairman of the State Duma industry committee, first vice-president of the Russian Machine-Building Union and a deputy from the ruling United Russia party, told journalists on Tuesday that Russia could also switch to Asian industrial markets to secure reliable supplies for domestic producers.

“I do not rule out that the Russian government may soon discuss measures in the auto industry to restrict the delivery of cars worth up to 800,000 rubles [$22.000] to Russia,” Gutenev told journalists, commenting on Russia’s possible extension of the list of its countersanctions.

The lawmaker said that Russia had reserved the right in the process of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose temporary restrictions, if there was a security threat to domestic producers.

“We see how the auto market has shrunk and a very serious decline is observed in the output of domestic producers, despite the offer of new models. And the policy pursued by European countries and the United States will possibly force us to clear this segment,” Gutenev said.

The MP said it was quite possible that the Russian government would take into account the conclusions of some experts about the need to impose an embargo on tobacco and alcoholic products from the European Union and the United States.

The lawmaker said it was also necessary to consider a new scheme of regulation of tobacco and alcoholic products as a separate issue.

“If sanctions are not lifted, Russia may respond quite seriously in this sphere as well. The proposals to restrict wine deliveries to Russia from Germany, France and Italy do not look so foolish. And then we can speak about the promotion of Crimean wine products which, incidentally, have received numerous awards,” the deputy said.

The Russian lawmaker also presumed that the Industry and Trade Ministry might establish a commission to assess the risks of engineering projects related to the delivery of parts and components from European countries.

In actual fact, Russia may shift its focus from European markets to suppliers in South-East Asia, the lawmaker said.

“The group of suppliers may be reviewed on very many positions. But in these instances, we can talk about the self-preservation instinct amid European partners’ unreliability rather than about any direct retaliation measures,” the lawmaker said.

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