Putin, Medvedev support firm measures against sanction-busting food shipments

President Vladimir Putin supports a proposal from Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev calling for the destruction of food shipments to Russia that violate the embargo.

President Vladimir Putin supports a proposal from Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev calling for the destruction of food shipments to Russia that violate the embargo.

"Good. Let's agree the proposal," Putin said at a meeting with members of the government.

Putin said he would issue an instruction to the Kremlin and the government to have legal specialists draft the proposal.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also expressed support for the proposal.

"The problem really does exist and evidently, unfortunately, certain unscrupulous companies are exploiting this, using shipments addressed to third countries that get dropped off in Russia and then these essentially contraband goods are sold," he said.

The practice harms the interests of Russian agricultural producers, who cultivate similar, sometimes superior, products, but are unable to sell them on the market.

"I think that here it would be possible to apply the kind of harsh measures that were practiced at one time under your proposal concerning sturgeon caviar," Medvedev said.

During the meeting, Putin asked Tkachev to report on the situation surrounding complaints by Russian farmers about the appearance of products on the market from countries which are included on the sanctions list.

Tkachev explained that according to the law, the consignments should be sent back again to the consignors. "So we can not allow this situation, ever, and our domestic farmers are suffering because of this most of all. Because there are low quality products at low prices getting through," he said.

"I'll take the opportunity to ask you, and the Russian government, to do everything possible that we might destroy all consignments of cargo, of products getting through the Russian border illegally, then and there," he said.

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