News / Europe

Russia Bans Import of Food From West in Response to Sanctions

Responding to Sanctions, Russia Bans Imports Of Food From Westi
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 08, 2014 1:19 AM
Russia has announced a ban on imports of food and agricultural products from the United States, Europe and other Western countries. It’s in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the West following Moscow’s forceful takeover of Crimea and continued support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Henry Ridgwell reports the Russian measures will hit both sides.
Henry Ridgwell

Russia has announced a ban on imports of food and agricultural products from the United States, Europe and other Western countries.  The ban is in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the West following Moscow’s forceful takeover of Crimea, and continued support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.  The Russian measures will impact both sides.

In a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the embargo.

"Russia is introducing a total ban on imports of beef, pork, fruit and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and other dairy products from the European Union countries, the United States of America, Australia, Canada and the Kingdom of Norway," said  Medvedev.

Russia imported about $1.3 billion of food and agricultural products from the U.S. in 2013. It bought close to $16 billion in products from Europe.  Elizabeth Stephens is a London-based risk analyst.

“They’ll impact Europe far more than the U.S. With the U.S., it tends to focus on wheat and going back to the Cold War, even then at the height of the Cold War, the Americans still sold the Soviet Union wheat.  So this really is quite unprecedented," said Stephens.

With products like luxury meats and cheeses banned from import, Russia will also pay a high price, says Stephens.

“Many wealthy Muscovites like to have their Western agricultural products dressed up very prettily in the top shops in Moscow.  They theoretically will be leaving the shelves.  And inflation will kick in in Moscow.  It’s already at 7.9 percent.  Not importing from the West will leave a huge deficit," she said.

 

Top food suppliers for Russia
Top food suppliers for Russia

 

In Moscow stores, imported goods like French cheeses and Spanish fruit still line the shelves but may soon disappear.  Shoppers like Irina Kashkadova appeared to support the government’s stance.

"I don't think the Russian people will lose anything from this.  At the same time, Russia will develop its agriculture and make new trade links with other countries," said Kashkadova.

Moscow says the embargo is in retaliation for Western sanctions, which have targeted Russia’s banking, energy and defense sectors.

Visiting Kyiv Thursday, the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy, Daniel Fried, said Washington has plenty of scope to step up its measures.

“We are determined to do what we need to do to make the sanctions regime most effective and with always an eye on creating the conditions under which we can move the sanctions," said Fried.

The West’s sanctions are starting to impact Russia’s economy.  In recent days, several Russian tour companies have gone bankrupt - leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded.  Moscow is mulling tax increases - but that could be counterproductive, says Alexei Devyatov, chief economist of Russia-based URALSIB Bank.

 

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Reality
August 08, 2014 10:18 AM
If President Putin wishes to enhance his image and stature aborard
he must make informed decisions and act above reproach. The downing of the Malaysia aircraft, carried out by rogue elements needs to be addressed speedily. Only Russia can ensure their extradition and only Mr Putin can authorize this. The choice is his.


by: Anonymous from: Canada
August 07, 2014 7:53 PM
What interest US or Canada have in Ukraine? What this fuss all about? Freedom? Russia and Ukraine have the same level of freedom. Picking on Russia, West will lose a lot. Particulary dealing with Iran would be much more difficult without Russian support. EU will lose shortest route to Asia. Fighting terrorism is more important than Ukraine, and Russian support would be very important. And so on and on. Western politician show their ineptitude making boogyman of Putin.


by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
August 07, 2014 4:31 PM
The US and EU should help Russia increase its 1 year ban on its food export to 5 year to send a clearer message.


by: Ngoc Linh from: VietNam
August 07, 2014 2:22 PM
Well i dont believe the ban will be lasting for one year as they said. it will be rejected soon. Any way its good for Russia as well as the US, Europe...and many other countries to know that we cannot live without others.


by: Tatiana from: Moscow
August 07, 2014 12:42 PM
In General, the kind of perishable food was banned !!! It's good decision for our population. I do not think we can suffer much of it !!! All world knows about widely using genetically modified products in US. all long survival food like jam and canned products are possible for trade)))


by: Peter Wu from: canada
August 07, 2014 11:23 AM
Good job Russia! and no need to worry, China will provide you food you need. you provide us oil and gas, we supply you food and industrial products.
And China airline can carry all passengers between Europe and Asia.
Russia China together we can destroy any evil enemies!

In Response

by: peter wu from: canada
August 08, 2014 10:23 AM
@captbilly, well if you goto your groceries you should see many food imported from China, at least in Canada its true.
In Metro, Provigo, I see many fruit, vegis, rice and noddles imported from China and they are popular here in Canada.
@Chuck p, yes I am proud of my country and I love China, but I like Canada too. Canada has fewer ppl than China, Canada has better quality than China too. I believe its healthier living here, lol
you know I like it so I take it!

In Response

by: captbilly from: Earth
August 07, 2014 8:00 PM
Even people in China don't want to eat food from China. When I was in Hong Kong about a year ago there were mainland Chinese buying baby food from the West because they didn't trust any baby food from China. The adults just accepted the fact that their own food was polluted.

In Response

by: Chuck p from: waterloo
August 07, 2014 7:19 PM
Really Wu? Why are you here? Russia and China are your true loyalty?

China is only a plane ride away.


by: Mark from: NYC
August 07, 2014 11:16 AM
Maybe the story's title should be: "Russia Imposes Sanctions on Self, Limits What People Can Eat"

Meanwhile, at the Kremlin...
Dmitry: Stock are getting low, Vlady.
Vladimir: What's left?
Dmitry: three potatoes, a cabbage, and some Cup of Borchst packages.


by: Max from: Singapore
August 07, 2014 10:58 AM
A hunger strike. Interesting.


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
August 07, 2014 8:51 AM
The VOA will be frustrated to read my opinion. I bet my opinion will not be published as usual, but personally, I do not see a tragedy in the food embargo when Russia’s state interests are at stake. Even more, the embargo will be beneficial in the long run, it will give an impetus to revive Russia’s own food production, will repress corruption connected with the foods industry, will diminish the threat of food overconsumption and related with it obesity epidemics. The embargo will enhance Russia’s psyche, national idea, will boost national pride. It will canonize President Putin’s name forever making him as one of our greatest sons.

In Response

by: Chuck P from: Waterloo
August 07, 2014 7:23 PM
Go ahead, become more self reliant, However, the tradition of corruption will be applied to local foods as well. Sorry.


by: Mostor from: Ukraine
August 07, 2014 8:38 AM
oh please... its like a really stupid Arab Hamas/Al Qaida prisoner in Guantanamo refusing to eat... hey Russia, banning subsidized food imports from West will reduce your population to eating mud - like N. Korea. Now, to get out of Ukraine - go invade Georgia or Chechnya... or some other filthy stinking place like China.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid