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British Govt. Downplays Impact of Russian Food Sanctions on UK Economy

Великобритания / The Great Britain
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Russia’s ban on food imports from the so-called sanction nations will not have a significant impact on the UK agricultural industry, the British government said Thursday.

MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) — Russia’s ban on food imports from the so-called sanction nations will not have a significant impact on the UK agricultural industry, the British government said Thursday.

Russia unveiled earlier on Thursday a substantial «blacklist» of food imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada, and Norway. The list includes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, milk, dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables.

"We are still considering the impacts of the ban but we do not expect it to have a significant overall effect on our agricultural industry — the affected agricultural exports to Russia account for some 0.2 percent of our food, feed and drink total agricultural exports," the UK government said in a statement.

"We will continue to work closely with trade associations and industry to help them monitor the impact of this ban on their business," the statement said.

The UK government also repeated its earlier statement saying the measures Russia has introduced were ungrounded and reiterated its intention to continue to impose pressure on Russia in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.

The UK was among the countries that had introduced several rounds of targeted sanctions against Russian companies and individuals since Crimea's reunification with Russia in March. Moscow stressed that Russia was never involved in the Ukrainian conflict and has repeatedly called the measures counterproductive, saying the sanctions could have a boomerang effect on European economies.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on economic measures to protect the country’s security. The decree banned for a year imports of agricultural and food products from several countries that have imposed restrictions on Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he hoped the embargo would put the «economic pragmatism» of the Western partners above «ridiculous political ideas» and cooperation would be restored in previous volumes.

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