MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) -Due to the Russian food embargo, the annual volume of EU food exports to Russia may decrease by $5 billion, Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta published Thursday.
“Supplies from the EU were estimated at $15.2 billion per year. According to the prognosis, the foreign supplies will decrease by $5 billion,” Fyodorov said, adding that Ukrainian food supplies to Russia, estimated at $2 billion annually, may drop by half.
On August 7, Moscow imposed a ban on food imports from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway in response to economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its alleged role in escalating the Ukrainian crisis.
The ban, targeting meat, fish, poultry and milk products, nuts, fruits and vegetables, is expected to last for a year. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Akady Dvorkovich said the embargo would be lifted when Moscow sees that its national security is no longer threatened.
The Amsterdam-based ING group estimated earlier this month that Russian food restrictions could cost the European Union $9 billion annually and up to 130,000 jobs.
In Russia, European food products are being substituted by local agricultural production. Latin American countries Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina among others, have expressed their willingness to boost food exports to Russia.