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Russia bans all U.S. food, EU fruits and vegs in sanctions response

Moscow, Aug 7 (): Russia will ban the imports of food products from U.S. as well as vegetables and fruits from the European Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered retaliation for the Western sanctions against Moscow, reports from a state news agency said on Wednesday.

Russia is a major consumer of food items from Europe and the United States; the ban symbols a deep growth of a financial reactive set out by Ukraine’s crisis, which has fetched the East-West relationships to their lowermost since the Cold War.

The ban has been introduced as a comprehensive response to the Western sanctions levied over supporting the rebels in Ukraine. The ban will hit the consumers in the country who depend on cheap imports and the farmers in the West for whom Russia is a big market.

With the Ukrainian crisis deepening, the United States levied several sequences of sanctions against the Russian officials, companies and business people and forced the allies in the West to follow its lead.

Moscow is the biggest buyer of European vegetables and fruits and the second biggest importer of U.S. poultry.

Putin had also ordered Wednesday that his government to take a list of imports to be banned for a year. It was said all the food products that are being produced in the U.S. and being supplied to Russia will be banned. The whole blacklist of banned products is expected to be announced Thursday.

The orders of banning the products were imposed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin to punish countries that imposed sanctions on Russia.

The food import ban is predicted to bring problems to the Russian economy, where the central bank has already increased interest rates three times in recent months in an attempt to control high inflation.

The battle of economic sanctions has intensified even as battling has strengthened in eastern Ukraine for the past three weeks since a Malaysian airliner was shot down over territory held by pro-Russian rebels.