Russia bans food imports

August 7, 2014

According to The Wall Street Journal, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev responded to new Western sanctions by banning imports of a wide range of foods. “Fulfilling the presidential order, I’ve signed a government decree. Russia imposes a total ban on deliveries of beef, pork, fruit, vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, and dairy products,” said Medvedev in opening the weekly government session.

Medvedev said Russia won’t import those products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada, and Norway for one year, adding that the decision could be reviewed before the end of that period. President Vladimir Putin had announced plans for the import ban Aug. 6, a week after the West announced its harshest sanctions since Russia annexed Crimea in March.

The ban will have a minor impact on Russians, who rely on food produced domestically or imported from other former Soviet countries. In addition, the impact on exporters in the E.U. and the U.S. will be minor, predicts Capital Economics. They estimate that imports covered under the ban account for around 2% of the total consumer price inflation basket. While the Russian government is banking on local producers to fill the void left by imports, experience of previous import bans suggests instead prices tend to rise as supply is squeezed.

The Wall Street Journal article