Russia to extend food import ban against western countries

Updated: 2015-06-26 09:22


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

MOSCOW - The Russian government announced on Thursday to extend import ban on certain food products from the United States, the European Union (EU), Canada, Australia and Norway.

"The ban on import of certain types of agricultural products, raw material and food, from the United States, any EU countries, Canada, Australia and Norway, has been extended for one year," the government said in an online statement.

Lasting till August 5 of 2016, the current food embargo list included milk and other dairy products, while several products like oyster and flowers are excluded, according to the statement.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said earlier in the day that Moscow's countermeasures to the western sanctions are not politically motivated.

"I would like to emphasize in particular that our actions are based first of all on economic rather than political reasons," an online official transcript quoted Medvedev as saying.

He noted that the implementation of food import restrictions, as well as supportive measures of the government, gave impetus to the entire agricultural sector.

According to him, this decision was made in response to the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by western countries over Moscow's alleged intervention in the Ukraine crisis.

Moscow's one-year-long food imports embargo was announced last August. The country has been repeatedly denying the accusations over the Ukraine crisis, stressing that Western sanctions are counterproductive.

"We did not start this sanction standoff and mutual decisions are necessary in order to end it. Unfortunately, so far we don't see any changes from the part of our western partners," Medvedev said.

Nevertheless, the prime minister said Russia's list can be changed in accordance with a range of factors, including developments in relations with European partners and other countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Wednesday prolonging "some special economic measures to ensure Russia's security," while the Russian government issued the decree one day later after Medvedev also signed it.

The EU announced Monday that it has decided to extend economic sanctions against Russia to Jan. 31, 2016, to ensure Moscow's full implementation of the Minsk agreement reached in February on the Ukraine crisis.