Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that the ban on importing western food products was beneficial to the country’s economy as domestic production increased to $4 billion.
He stressed that the sanction would last as “long as possible” especially since consumers can now buy affordable and high quality domestic produce.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also said that the embargo caused Russia to develop its agricultural sector and compete with the West in terms of produce.
The embargo was imposed to develop the Russia economy and not to annoy our partners in the West. Many local businesses have called for the government not to lift the ban.”
According to Russian Agriculture Ministry Yevgeny Gromyko, the prohibition led to increased production of sausages, cheese and other domestic agricultural products.
Western food embargo to Russia was implemented in 2014 in response to the US and EU anti Russian sanctions for its alleged role in Ukrainian conflict.
Last year, trade between the EU and Russia dropped to $235.7 billion from $417.7 billion in 2013. Russia is one of EU’s largest trading partners along with China, US and Switzerland. It is also the Union’s main supplier of oil and natural gas.
Based on an economic research by CEPII, countries that supported the anti-Russian sanction have lost a total of $60.2 billion from 2014 to mid-2015.
EU sanction targeted Russia’s defense, financial and energy sectors while also directing the blame towards public figures, businessmen and government officials.
In June 2016, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault acknowledged he wanted the Western sanction to be scrapped saying that Russia should have a positive role in ending the Ukrainian crisis.