The Minister of Economic Development of Russia Alexey Ulyukayev today informed about the government's decision to introduce a food embargo against Ukraine, starting from January 1st 2016.
"We took the decision to introduce protective measures in the form of food embargoes after Ukraine supported the economic and financial sanctions against the Russian Federation. But the decision is of the delayed type. It is to come into force on January 1st," Tass cites him as saying.
The assistant head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Alexey Alekseenko, assured that Russians won't feel any noticeable changes after the decision comes into force. "This measure won't bring us anything unexpected or unpleasant. In a short period of time we have managed to restructure the production of livestock products which were earlier supplied by Ukraine. We have become exporters of such products," the official said.
In an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, Alexey Alekseenko confirmed this statement, explaining what the basis of his confidence in it was.
"On the one hand, the possibility of imposing these restrictions has been discussed for about six months, so it is not a surprise for anyone. On the other hand, very serious changes took place in their own production process over the past two-three years. We don't import pork for example, despite all the difficulties. It was the product that Ukraine wanted to continue to import. We produced enough in the last five years for our internal market. The situation with beef has also improved significantly over the past two years,'' he said.
According to him, Turkey can supply the necessary products. "Today we were glad when we received information that Turkey agreed to supply us cheese, dairy products, meat, except for pork, as Turkey doesn't produce it much," Alexey Alekseenko said.
The chief researcher at the Center for agricultural and food policy IPEA RANHiGS, Vasili Uzun, said that "it would be good if the Ministry of Economy took into account the prices of imported products from Ukraine and compared them with the prices of products from other countries."
"As I understand, the imports from Ukraine were very cheap. Importing from other countries will lead to a rise in prices for products, simply because Ukraine was closer,'' the expert said.