Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended the country’s embargo on food products from Western countries until the end of 2021. Putin stated that the ban is in place “to defend national interests” and prohibits most food products from nations penalising Moscow. The country has been particularly hit by EU sanctions following the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Last week, the EU agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia until January 2021, citing a lack of progress on a peace process to put a stop to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. While domestic producers have benefited from the sanctions, they have had a negative effect on Russia’s economy with elevated food prices and a decrease in the quality of some products. Europe’s fresh produce sector has also felt the impact of these sanctions as exports to Russia previously accounted for a large share of sales.