Russia Blocking Agricultural Imports from the U.S. and Europe
MOSCOW, RU – Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered one-year limitations on food and agricultural imports from countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
Though the full list of products to be banned or limited is not yet published, Reuters reports that the Russian state news agency stated on Wednesday that Russia will ban all imports of food from the United States and all fruit and vegetables from Europe. Alexei Alexeenko of Russia’s Plant and Veterinary Oversight Service was quoted as saying “from the USA, all products that are produced there and brought to Russia will be prohibited.”
The Associated Press reports that White House spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson decried the import ban, saying "Retaliating against Western companies or countries will deepen Russia's international isolation, causing further damage to its own economy."
Food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In an emailed statement to reporters, the American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said, “This is clearly a political move. It is unfortunate that the biggest losers in this will be Russian consumers, who will pay more for their food now as well as in the long run. America's farmers and ranchers would have been more surprised if Russia’s leaders had not announced bans and restrictions on food and agricultural imports. They do so regularly for seemingly small reasons and now they have to deal with sanctions imposed by our nation and others."
We reported earlier this year that U.S. sanctions against Russia could have a direct impact on U.S. exporters. Russia is the largest importer of apples and pears in the world, according to the USDA. The U.S. exported an estimated 16.1 million pounds of apples to Russia in 2012, and an estimated 15.6 million pounds of pears in 2013. To read more in our previous article, click here.
For now, we will have to wait and see what effects these bans will have on U.S. agricultural exporters. Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue to track this ongoing story.