Russian Federation Extends Import Ban on Western Food

Russia has extended its prohibition of imports of food and agricultural products from the European Union (EU), USA, Ukraine, Canada, Australia, Norway, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Liechtenstein through December 31, 2018. The products include fish, seafood, meat, fruits and dairy foods.

"These restrictions [implemented by executive order on June 30, 2017] are designed to expand the special economic countermeasures against certain states based on the extent of their involvement in the sanctions regime against Russia," according to a statement published on the Russian Federation government website on July 5.

This is ongoing fallout following sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia after its annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in March of 2014. The action was preceded by Russian military intervention following Ukraine’s ouster of pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych in February of that year.

On June 28 of this year the EU officially extended sanctions against Russia for an additional six months over lack of progress on implementation of the Minsk accords, which were formulated to end the Ukrainian conflict. The sanctions are now set to expire on Jan. 31, 2018.

Meanwhile, according to unsubstantiated reports, a limited volume of banned products are nonetheless entering the Russian market indirectly through distribution channels in countries that are not on the prohibition list.