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Russia will ban fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday.
"There is nothing good in sanctions and it wasn't an easy decision to take, but we had to do it," Medvedev said. The ban is valid from Aug. 7 and will last for one year, he said.
Medvedev also said that the country was considering a ban of transit flights for European and US Airlines to the Asia-Pacific region.
Medvedev said western sanctions were a “dead-end track”, but Russia has been forced to respond to the measures taken by the western countries.
Alcohol imports from both the EU and the US will not be restricted.
“We are actually speaking of an embargo on imports of whole categories of products from countries which have introduced sanctions against Russian organizations and individuals,” Medvedev said.
Medvedev believes the year-long embargo Russia is imposing will boost domestic agriculture.
“We are only lagging behind in production of certain varieties of meat and milk. We have to catch up and our farmers are ready to do so, especially if we help them.”
Medvedev also said he sincerely hoped "our partners’ economic pragmatism will prevail over bad political decisions, and they will think before trying to frighten Russia and impose restrictions on it. And mutual trade and economic partnership will be restored in the volumes which existed before. We would have liked that to happen.”
Dmitry Medvedev instructed the Federal Customs Service (FCS) to see that the banned imports could not cross the Russian border.
The Russian PM has also warned against possible attempts to use the situation to drive up prices.
"I would like to warn that attempts to gain from price speculation in this situation will be roughly stopped," Medvedev said.
Source: Reuters, RT.com
Publication date: 8/7/2014
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