Putin Orders Retaliatory Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned or curbed agricultural imports from countries imposing sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

In a decree published on the Kremlin website (in Russian), he ordered the measures to be introduced for a period of one year.

Government departments were instructed to come up with a list of products subject to the order.

Russia has imposed import bans on other states in the past, but normally on grounds of public health.

Wednesday’s decree did not specify which countries would be affected by the new measures but the EU and US recently tightened sanctions on Russia, with Brussels extending them from individuals to sectors of the economy.

Russia buys fruit and vegetables from the EU worth an annual 2bn euros (£1.6bn; $2.7bn).

Last week it banned most such imports from Poland on grounds of public health in what was seen as a thinly veiled retaliation for Poland’s advocacy of tough action over Ukraine. Poland in return began a campaign to eat its own farmers’ apples in lieu of huge exports of Polish apples to Russia.

Russia, which was first subjected to sanctions after annexing Crimea in March, has been accused of fomenting the armed rebellion in Ukraine’s eastern regions.


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