Russia bans food imports in retaliation to sanctions

Russia has banned the importation of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and diary imports from the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said.

The measures are part of a raft of counter-measures to be imposed after the targeted nations imposed sanctions on Russia over its role in the crisis in Ukraine.

The import ban begins today and will last for one year, he added.

Russian produce ban to miss British farmers

British farmers are unlikely to be affected by Russia's decision today to ban imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products from the EU and a further four countries for 12 months.

Sheep on display  at the North Devon show this week
British farmers, such as these exhibiting livestock at the North Devon show this week, sell little fresh produce to Russia. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Martin Haworth, deputy director-general of the National Farmers Union, said that the UK exported food and drink worth only £115m to Russia last year. The total included £17m of frozen fish, £5.7m of cheese and £5.3m of coffee.

“However, other EU countries do export a lot and there is every likelihood that a ban could have an impact on EU prices, which will then have a knock-on effect in the UK," Haworth said.

The Foreign Office said that Russia had no grounds for imposing the sanctions, which will also affect the United States, Australia, Norway and Canada.

"Instead of retaliating, Russia should be using its influence with the violent Russian-backed separatists to stop destabilising Ukraine," a spokesman said.

Advertisement

Moscow may ban transit flights in its airspace

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that Moscow was considering banning transit flights by airlines from the European Union and the United States to the Asia-Pacific region.

Medvedev said a final decision on whether to ban the flights by EU and US airlines had not been taken but said Russia had decided to ban transit flights for Ukrainian airlines via its territory.

More: Russia bans food imports in retaliation to sanctions

Russia bans food imports in retaliation to sanctions

Russia has banned the importation of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and diary imports from the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said.

The measures are part of a raft of counter-measures to be imposed after the targeted nations imposed sanctions on Russia over its role in the crisis in Ukraine.

The import ban begins today and will last for one year, he added.

Read: Putin to prepare 'retaliation' against western sanctions

Obama: 'Russia has failed' in halting weapons flow

A pro-Russian separatist stands on a tank in eastern Ukraine.
A pro-Russian separatist stands on a tank in eastern Ukraine. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

President Barack Obama announced more sanctions on Russia yesterday, stating that Russia is not doing enough to halt the flow of weapons and fighters into eastern Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters at the White House he said:

These sanctions are significant, but they are also targeted, designed to have the maximum impact on Russia while limiting any spillover impact on American companies or those of our allies.

Ive repeatedly made it clear that Russia must halt the flow of weapons and fighters across the border into Ukraine.

So far, Russia has failed to take any of the steps that I mentioned.

– President Obama

More: US imposes new sanctions on Russia

Advertisement

EU to impose sanctions on Russian companies

European Union leaders would work to block loans for new projects in Russia as well as a range of other sanctions in response to Moscow's actions in Ukraine, according to a draft statement.

The statement said that EU countries would also work together to suspend funding for new projects in Russia through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

European Union leaders say they will impose sanctions on Russia in  response to Moscow's actions in Ukraine.
European Union leaders say they will impose sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow's actions in Ukraine. Credit: Reuters

Sanctions would also target companies that helped to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty and a first list of companies and people to be targeted with asset freezes would be drawn up by the end of July.

This comes as the US announced its widest-ranging sanctions against Russia yet.

Read: US imposes widest-ranging sanctions on Russia

US imposes most wide-ranging sanctions on Russia

The United States has imposed its most wide-ranging sanctions yet on Russia's economy over Moscow's "provocative" behavior in Ukraine.

The sanctions included Gazprombank and the Rosneft Oil Co, and other major banks and energy and defense companies.

Washington has steadily escalated its financial sanctions on Russia over what it views as Moscow's interference in its neighbour Ukraine.

President Obama is due to make a statement on sanctions the US might put on Russia over Ukraine.
President Obama is due to make a statement on sanctions the US might put on Russia over Ukraine. Credit: PA

A senior US administration official told reporters on a conference call that the sanctions were designed to avoid spillover risk for the global economy.

President Barrack Obama is due to shortly make a statement on the Russian sanctions, the White House said.