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Russian PM Medvedev to hold import substitution commission meeting

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will on Saturday hold a regular meeting of the government commission on import substitution

SOCHI, October 3. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will on Saturday hold a regular meeting of the government commission on import substitution, the government press service said.

"The meeting participants will discuss the role of Russian Federation constituent members in import substitution, as well as a plan of work of the government commission for 2015-2016," the press service said.

The meeting will involve deputy prime ministers Dmitry Rogozin and Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian presidential aide Andrey Belousov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov, Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Also present will be Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev, Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka and other officials and businessmen.

The government commission on import substitution was established in early August and is a coordination body to ensure coordinated activities of federal and regional executive authorities, local self-government bodies and organizations to implement the state policy regarding import substitution.

The commission is led by the prime minister. Its first meeting was held in August in the southern Russian resort of Sochi and was dedicated to import substitution in agriculture.

A system of import substitution had to be introduced in Russia in connection with imposition of Western sanctions on Russia for developments in Ukraine and Moscow’s countersanctions.

Russia has constantly dismissed allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in destabilization in Ukraine.

In his address to the Federal Assembly, Russia's parliament, on December 4, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the import substitution policy is among the country’s long-term priorities.

For incorporation of Crimea after last year’s coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.

As countermeasures, Russia imposed on August 6, 2014 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 Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of "annexing" Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as claims that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.