Saturday

22nd Sep 2018

Russia imposes retaliatory sanctions on EU

Moscow is slapping a ban on EU-imported fruit and vegetables and food from the US in retaliation for western economic sanctions.

A Russian decree published Wednesday (6 August) called upon government officials to put forward a list of agricultural products and raw materials to be banned for up to one year.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Putin signed a decree on Wednesday to ban some food imports from the EU (Photo: World Economic Forum)

The decree does not list the specific products or name the countries although the government is expected to announce the full list on Thursday.

But Russia's food safety watchdog VPSS, Alexei Alexeenko, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying fruit and vegetables from member states backing the EU sanctions would be blacklisted.

"Fruits and vegetables from the European Union will also be under full ban," he said.

According to RIA Novosti, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Slovakia, and Spain could be on the Russian list.

Among the products cited by country are meats, poultry, fish, drinks and coffee.

Poland was already targeted last month when Moscow announced it would no longer import Polish apples, pears, cherries, nectarines, plums, and varieties of cabbage. The Russian government cited health and sanitary reasons.

The latest ban also hits import products from the US, and possibly Canada, and Australia.

The measures are seen as a tit-for-tat response to broad economic sanctions recently imposed on Russia by the European Union.

The EU’s so-called stage three sanctions ban financial instruments by Russian-state-owned banks, enact a non-retroactive arms embargo, and impose export limitations on dual-use technologies.

The European Commission says the EU stands to lose €40 billion this year alone from the stage three sanctions and that the amount is set to increase to €50 billion next year.

The effect of the sanctions has already caused unease in some EU states, with Finland saying it will potentially seek compensation.

“It is without doubt clear that, if sanctions hit Finland disproportionately, we will seek support from our European partners,” said Finland’s prime minister Alexander Stubb.

Russia is Finland’s largest trading partner, according to the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce. Total Finnish exports last year to Russia amounted to €5.4 billion. Around 7.5 percent was food and drink, reports Finnish state broadcaster YLE.

As the EU’s third largest trading partner, Russia is one of the biggest importers of fruit and vegetables grown by member states. In 2013, it imported around €2 billion worth of fruit and vegetables.

In terms of overall trade, last year the EU exported some €120 billion in goods and another €28 billion in services to Russia.

Agricultural products accounted for around €12 billion of the EU exports, according to the European Commission.

Meanwhile as the sanctions battle steps up, Nato has estimated that some 20,000 Russian combat-ready soldiers are now stationed near the border with Ukraine.

Poland has said there is now a greater risk that Russia will make a direct intervention in Ukraine.

"We have reasons to suspect – we have been receiving such information in the last several hours – that the risk of a direct intervention is higher than it was several days ago,” said prime minister Donald Tusk.

Russia in sanction threat against EU

Russia may restrict or impose a ban on Asian-bound European airlines from flying over its Siberian territory as part of a retaliatory move against western-imposed sanctions.

Opinion

MH17 and the diplomacy of business going Dutch

The shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines flight reinforces the point that the security of citizens outside state borders is to be framed as a central issue in 21st century security policy.

EU wants continental free-trade deal with Africa

Earlier this week, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in his state of the union announced a new relationship with Africa. On Friday, his subordinates outlined the vision, promising jobs and growth by leveraging public funds for investments.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  5. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  6. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  9. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  11. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us