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Putin Extends Embargo on Western Food Imports Until 2018 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin officially extended Moscow’s embargo on food products from the West until the end of 2018, continuing its policy of retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine.

A decree signed by Putin and posted in the official government database states that the embargo on produce, dairy, meat and most other foods will now stretch to December 31, 2018.

The move comes days after the European Union formally rolled over damaging economic sanctions against Russia, and a week before Putin is set to hold his first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Moscow in August 2014 banned most food imports from the European Union, the United States and other countries which imposed sanctions over its annexation of Crimea and support of east Ukraine’s separatists.

The embargo has already been extended twice in line as the West has repeatedly extended its sanctions.

The Western sanctions, as well as Moscow’s own embargo, have impacted the Russian economy, pushing food prices up and quality down, but also giving a boost for some domestic producers.

Putin said this month that Moscow would end the embargo once the sanctions are lifted.