Moscow, Russian Federation (4E) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday issued a decree banning the importation of agricultural produce, foods and raw materials from the U.S. and European Union in retaliation for their economic sanctions on the country’s banking, energy, arms and aviation industries.
The decree also orders the cabinet to take measures to provide a balance on products in the market, prevent price increase and not hurt consumers. The cabinet is releasing on Thursday an initial list of import products that will be banned, according to Natalia Timakova, a press-secretary for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The list includes vegetables, fruit, meat, and dairy products.
The Russian Retailers’ Association said it will increase the number of Russian vendors and assured ordinary customers they will not feel the impact of the import ban as it will only affect the premium market segment.
Retail chains will also work with a wider range of suppliers in countries that did not support the sanctions, the association’s executive director, Andrei Karpov, said.
Russia is Europe’s largest importer of animals, meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. The said products constitute 16 percent of the European Union’s goods.
The import ban comes a week after the U.S. and E.U. increased economic sanctions on Russia for its support of separatists in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea, a region formerly part of Ukraine. The E.U. banned Russian banks from raising capital on Europe’s capital markets and banned the import and export of arms and related material to and from Russia.