Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with local officials in Voronezh, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Putin says he has ordered the government to develop measures in response to Western sanctions. In a meeting with state officials in the city of Voronezh on Tuesday, did not specify what the measures might be but said: "I have given the order today to formulate them," Russian news agencies reported. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)
Report: Russia to block all U.S. agricultural imports
First Published Aug 06 2014 08:52 pm • Last Updated Aug 06 2014 09:09 pm

Moscow • Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hit back hard against countries that have imposed sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, ordering trade cuts that an official said would include a ban on all imports of agricultural products from the United States.

The full list of products to be banned or limited for up to one year is to be published Thursday. But the state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Alexei Alexeenko of Russia’s plant and veterinary oversight service as saying "from the USA, all products that are produced there and brought to Russia will be prohibited."

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Alexeenko also was quoted as saying he thinks all fruits and vegetables from European Union countries will also be banned.

The move follows the latest round of sanctions against Russia imposed by the EU last week, which for the first time targeted entire sectors of the Russian economy.

President Barack Obama said in a news conference Wednesday that U.S. sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine are straining the Russian economy, which has "ground to a halt."

The U.S. and the EU have accused Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March, of fomenting tensions in eastern Ukraine by supplying arms and expertise to a pro-Moscow insurgency, and have imposed asset freezes and loan bans on a score of individuals and companies.

White House spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson decried the move, saying "Retaliating against Western companies or countries will deepen Russia’s international isolation, causing further damage to its own economy."

Russia depends heavily on imported foodstuffs — most of it from the West — particularly in the largest and most prosperous cities such as Moscow. Food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in 2013 the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totaled 11.8 billion euros ($15.8 billion).

Putin’s order says the limits are being imposed "with the goal of guaranteeing the security of the Russian Federation" and calls for undertaking measures to guard against quick price hikes.

The order appears to show that Russia, although increasingly suffering the effects of Western sanctions, is disinclined to back down on Ukraine. Russia denies allegations that it is supporting the Ukrainian rebels or supplying them with equipment and has rejected claims that its artillery has been firing from across the border.


story continues below
story continues below

As tensions over Ukraine rise, a respected newspaper this week cited unnamed sources as saying Russia is considering closing its airspace to European carriers flying to Asia. The report sent the stocks of some airlines sharply lower.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said he wouldn’t comment on "rumors" of airspace being closed, but said "our Western partners should think about their companies and their citizens," the Interfax news agency reported.

Russia last week banned the import of apples and some other fruits from Poland, saying this was because of sanitary concerns, but raising speculation that the move was in retaliation for Poland’s support of the Ukrainian authorities.

——

Josh Lederman and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.