News / Europe

Russia Bans Import of Food From West in Response to Sanctions

Responding to Sanctions, Russia Bans Imports Of Food From Westi
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.


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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
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

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