Russian Agriculture minister in no hurry to end Russia’s counter-sanctions


August 14, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

–, translated from German by Tom Winter –

How soon to abolish the countersanctions? “Ten years would be good for the industry. What else should I say as a Minister of Agriculture?”

Food sanctions: Russia expects to cover its own vegetable needs in 3-5 years

In three to five years, Russia will be able to meet 90% of its vegetable needs. This was said by Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev on the TV station Rossija 24.

In the past three years Russian vegetable production has grown 30%, Tkachev said. Despite poor weather, the harvest in 2017 is estimated to be 16 to 16.5 million tons. The minister expects a growth of 3.5 to 4% for 2017. The politician is regarded as an advocate of the import substitution and the food embargo imposed by Russia three years ago in response to Western sanctions.

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The Russian punitive measures against the West prohibit the import of meat, dairy, vegetable and fruit products from the EU and the USA. Many products are therefore increasingly being produced domestically. Other products, in turn, Russia imports from regions such as Central Asia, North Africa or South America. On June 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin extended the counter-sanctions by decree to December 31, 2018.

No lifting of the food embargo

According to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the embargo will not be lifted in the near future. Tkachev was also convinced that the Russian population wants to buy indigenous products. This he said in an interview with Forbes. Asked if the food embargo was to be abolished soon, Tkachev replied: “Ten years would be good for the industry. What else should I say as a Minister of Agriculture?”

According to the Russian Academy of Economics (RANEPA), the embargo has led to consumers having to put some 4,400 rubles (around 60 euros) on the table per year. 

The Moscow supermarket chain, WkusWill, on the other hand, believes that the embargo floats the Russian food industry. This applies, for example, to the Russian cheese industry. This was said by the company’s representative, Yevgeni Schtschepin, to the the German Press Agency.

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