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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Gun from: Germany
    August 07, 2014 8:29 AM
    We need to impose one-year ban on gas import from Russia. If will do,in one year gas price for us will be twice cheaper.

    by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
    August 07, 2014 8:24 AM
    I've commented on what I believe to be the cause of Russian adventurism in Europe before. I have earned the dislike from the US military for saying it. The Afghan deployment creates a perception of strategic weakness in Europe and Asia. A nation's military deployments must be justifiable at the time deployment exists. If, in a war, a nation's only military deployments are in one particular theatre other possible theatres of high value are ignored. When the US terminates with Afghan deployments it will get a rush of positive strategic outcomes in Europe, Asia and globally.

    The US is in a dead end non-dividend investment in Afghanistan and like a business specializing in the manufacture and sale of a losing product, it should as soon as possible terminate that product or by parallel the Afghan deployment. Concentrate on the important theatres of conflict at this time. This will happen naturally once the Afghan deployment is terminated. Russia as with other countries sense a weakness in US and hence NATO preparedness. This is also true for China. I advise the quickest possible withdrawl from Afghanistan with at most a minimal special forces brigade there.

    Power levels and the perception of adequately efficient power and focus levels in one's military are important in deterring attack and winning conflicts. The US and NATO are not winning their strategic faceoffs with Russia or China because of a dilution and diversion of their strategic focus based on current active deployments, which determine the power and focus aspects of the US and NATO. I'll probably get hassled once again for saying this but I believe it to be true and that my advice should be acted upon promptly for the sake of the US and NATO, a positive goal and priority.

    by: Michael from: S-Pb
    August 07, 2014 8:15 AM
    Let Ukrane will buy from EU everything that produced for Russian! It will be an honest business!

    by: MehulT from: Ahmedabad
    August 07, 2014 8:02 AM
    Go for it R. Ind has lot of food and everything you need. Indi wud support you guys.

    by: Richard Mc from: North Carolina
    August 07, 2014 7:59 AM
    Given that Russia's GDP is less than 1/7th that of the US or 1/8th that of the EU a trade war is a losing proposition for them. I do find it telling that they picked food to ban. I guess that's least important to them since only the people need it.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora