Moscow has announced an official one-year ban on U.S. and European Union-imported meat, fish dairy, fruits, and vegetables, in retaliation against Western countries that imposed sanctions on Russia's defense, oil, and financial sectors, in alleged support of the rebels in Eastern Ukraine. Western officials are concerned because Russia is by far the biggest consumer of EU fruits and vegetables, and the second-largest consumer of U.S. poultry. The ban would also extend to Canada, Australia, and Norway.
President Vladimir Putin has assured Russian residents that the ban will not affect their consumer habits, alluding to the fact that the ban may not be as stringent as it appears. Russian officials have said that the ban will cause a short-term spike in inflation, but does not see any long-term effects.
“We hoped until the very last moment that our foreign partners would realize that the path of sanctions is a dead-end and that nobody needs them,” said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “They failed to realize it.”
Yesterday it was announced that Russia would no longer be importing American whiskey. It is not clear if (and how) the bans would affect the American agricultural industry or economy.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi