Russia has banned or limited imports of food and agricultural products from nations that have imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to the crisis in Ukraine, stepping up retaliatory moves against the West.
Under an order from President Vladimir Putin, imports of food from the United States and all fruit and vegetables from European Union will be banned, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The ban will specifically include US poultry, a Russian official was quoted as saying.
The measures will hit Russian consumers at home who rely on cheap imports, and on farmers in the West for whom Russia is a big market, the report noted. Russia is the biggest buyer of European fruit and vegetables and the second biggest importer of US poultry.
The sanctions war has escalated even as fighting has intensified on the ground in eastern Ukraine in the three weeks since a Malaysian airliner was shot down over territory held by pro-Russian rebels.
NATO said on Wednesday that Russia had massed around 20,000 troops on Ukraine’s border and could use the pretext of a humanitarian mission to invade. It was the starkest warning yet from the Western alliance that Moscow could mount a ground assault on its neighbor.
– Contact us at [email protected]