Russia eases its food embargo

The food embargo against the EU countries, U.S., Canada, Australia and Norway was introduced on August 7, 2014.

The food embargo against the EU countries, U.S., Canada, Australia and Norway was introduced on August 7, 2014.

Ingimage / Vostock-photo
The Russian government has decided to ease the food embargo introduced against Western countries and allow the import of poultry meat, beef and vegetables used for baby food.

The Russian government has moderated the embargo conditions placed on products imported from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the EU countries, Ukraine and several other European countries. The ban has been lifted on poultry meat, frozen beef and dried and frozen vegetables used in the production of baby food. The ruling was published on the official site of the Russian Legal Information Service.

Importers will have to prove that the products entering Russia are intended for children’s consumption. The Ministry of Agriculture has been tasked with developing a method for authenticating these deliveries. It will also determine the acceptable volumes of the imported products that are no longer affected by the ban. 

The food embargo against the EU countries, U.S., Canada, Australia and Norway was introduced on August 7, 2014 in response to the sanctions against Russia imposed by the West for Russia's annexation of Crimea and accusations of involvement in Eastern Ukraine. Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, Lichtenstein and (on January 1, 2016) Ukraine were later added to the embargo.

Initially, Russia's embargo included all types of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy and meat products, vegetables, fruit and nuts produced in these countries. 

However, the ban was soon lifted on lactose-free dairy products. Special products destined for athletes on Russia’s national team, as well as biologically active additives and vitamin-mineral complexes, were also removed from the embargo list.

At the end of May 2016 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government to extend the embargo until the end of 2017, saying that he was concerned about the interests of the domestic agricultural industry. 

"Those in the agricultural business and industry – both large agricultural companies and relatively small ones – will receive a longer period for planning their investments, something they had asked us for on many occasions,” Medvedev said at a meeting with members of the Russian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Union. “They will also have the opportunity to see what will happen in the longer future.”

First published in Russian in RBK

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