Russia bans food imports from West

Aug 07, 2014, 6:34 AM EDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of State Council August 5, 2014 in Voronezh, Russia.
AFP/Getty Images

Russia will ban all imports of food from the United States and all fruit and vegetables from Europe, the state news agency said on Wednesday, a sweeping response to Western sanctions imposed over its support for rebels in Ukraine.
 
Reuters reports:
The measures will hit consumers at home who rely on cheap imports, and on farmers in the West for whom Russia is a big market. Moscow is by far the biggest buyer of European fruit and vegetables and the second biggest importer of U.S. poultry.
 
The BBC's Steve Rosenberg offers an analysis on what the ban will mean for Russian shoppers:
The Kremlin decree doesn't specify which items will be affected. Instead, President Putin has ordered his government to draw up the list of food and agricultural products to be limited or banned. The Russian authorities clearly believe these restrictions will hurt foreign exporters more than the Russian economy. Moscow is already looking elsewhere for its food imports. It will hold talks this week with Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil.
 
Meanwhile, U.S. farm groups offer their take on matters in an article in the Des Moines Register:
While the Russian leader has yet to outline which goods would be banned as imports for a year, U.S. farm organizations said the announcement is unlikely to have a major impact on American farmers and ranchers. Russia was not among the top 10 largest importers of U.S. corn, soybeans, cotton or wheat through May, according to U.S. Agriculture Department figures.

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