MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is not going to automatically go back to foreign food suppliers if the country decides to lift the food embargo, Alexei Alekseyenko, an aide to the chief of the Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, said on Friday.
"That will be difficult because a long time has passed and many changes took place. There will be no automatic return to the earlier list of suppliers that existed before introduction of our retaliatory economic measures," Alekseyenko said on the sidelines of the Gaidar Forum.
He added that it would be necessary to send Russian experts in order to check foreign companies that want to supply food products to Russia.
"But that is a rather difficult and long process especially as we must cut expenses on checks of foreign companies," Alexeyenko said.
Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.