Saturday

23rd Sep 2017

Russia threatens to go beyond EU food ban in sanctions war

  • Russia has already slapped a ban on food imported from the EU (Photo: malyousif)

The Russian government may expand its economic sanctions against the west, as its diplomatic stand-off over the Ukraine crisis intensifies.

At a meeting of Vladimir Putin’s ministers on Thursday (7 August), prime minister Dimitry Medvedev stated that the government was considering a ban on flights from Europe and the US travelling through its airspace.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

A ban would force carriers to use more fuel to reach destinations using longer flight paths to avoid Russian territory and would hit major European airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France.

Moscow is also considering whether to expand its sanctions to the aviation, shipbuilding and automobile sectors.

Earlier, the Russian government drew up a list of agricultural products and raw materials from the EU, as well as the US, Canada, Norway and Australia, that will be banned for one year - a tit-for-tat response to broad economic sanctions recently imposed on Russia by the European Union.

Figures from the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat suggest that the move will cost Europe, which provides over 40 percent of Russia’s food imports, more than €12 billion in lost exports.

Under the bloc’s common agricultural policy, the European Commission has a €420m cash reserve that could be used to compensate farmers and has indicated that it stands ready to offer further support to its farming sector if needed.

"Until the last moment, we hoped that our foreign colleagues would realise that sanctions lead to a blind alley, and that no one benefits from them. But they didn't realise this, and now we have been forced to respond," said Medvedev.

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

The move was made last week in response to Moscow's support for eastern separatists in Ukraine, which western leaders hold responsible for shooting down Malaysian airlines flight MH17 last month, killing all its passengers.

Meanwhile, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a visit to Ukraine on Thursday urged Russia to "step back from the brink" of war by pulling its troops back from the Ukrainian border.

Rasmussen, which has warned that Russia has massed around 20,000 troops close to the border ahead of a possible direct intervention, called on Moscow to “not use peacekeeping as an excuse for warmaking”.

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. Meanwhile, 20,000 Russian soldiers are stationed on the Ukraine border.

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.

Visual Data

The Merkelisation of Europe

Angela Merkel, the EU's most powerful leader, is running for a fourth time in Germany's election on Sunday. But what has changed in Europe over the 12 years of her chancellorship?

News in Brief

  1. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  2. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  3. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  4. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  5. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead
  6. EU to step up sanctions on North Korea
  7. Tusk calls 'euro summit' in December
  8. Report: May to seek two-year EU transition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  2. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  3. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  5. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  6. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  9. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  10. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  11. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  12. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies