Russian boycott until 2020?

Russian minister of agriculture isn't hoping for an end to the boycott

Last week Russia extended the boycott of European fruit and vegetables, among other items, until December 2018. The Russian minister of agriculture Alexander Tkachev assumes the boycott will be in force until at least 2020. He said this during a press conference after a FAO meeting.

"We hope that the food embargo will further stimulate the production and not be limited to 2018. We expect the boycott to remain in force until 2020," said the minister to the Russian press office Tass. Russia has been investing in domestic production since the boycott and aims to be as self sufficient as possible in food.

The extension of the boycott wasn't unexpected. Russia continues to point out that the boycott is a response to the European sanctions against Russia. This is why Europe has to be the first to reduce the sanctions. President Putin reiterated this during a TV interview last month, before the new extension was announced. "Our government has extended the sanctions until December 31. We will see how our relationship with the countries that implemented the sanctions against us progresses. As far as the endless extension of the sanctions is concerned, if our counterparts lift the economic sanctions, we will do the same. Otherwise we will be in trouble with the WTO," according to president Putin.

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