Russia hits West with food import ban in sanctions row

Posted: August 7, 2014 in World News

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Russia is imposing a “full embargo” on food imports from the EU, US and some other Western countries, in response to sanctions over Ukraine

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said it would include fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports.

Australia, Canada and Norway are also affected. Russia is also banning Ukrainian airlines from
transit across its territory, he said in televised comments to the government.

Furthermore, the Russian government is considering banning transit flights for EU and US airlines in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine, he said.

Barring airlines from Siberian airspace would significantly increase costs and flying time for
many jets bound for Asian destinations.

EU food exports to Russia last year were worth 11.8bn euros (£9bn; $15.8bn) while US food
exports to Russia were worth 972m euros (£772m; $1.3bn).

Russia was the EU’s second-biggest market for food exports (10% of total), after the US (13%).
The European Commission said the Russian embargo was “clearly politically motivated”. It is
considering how to respond.

Western governments accuse the Kremlin of fomenting the unrest in eastern Ukraine by supplying weapons and expertise to the pro-
Russian separatists.

Last month the EU and US tightened sanctions on Russia, with Brussels applying restrictions to key sectors of the economy as well as individuals.

The first round of sanctions came after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in March.

Source: BBC

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