MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will lift its food embargo, imposed in response to Western economic sanctions, when it sees that Russia’s national security is no longer threatened, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Tuesday.
Dvorkovich said the embargo will be lifted “when [Russia] sees that there is no threat to its national security anymore, because in line with the presidential decree, the economic measures were imposed in order to protect national security.”
The official said he was not ready to name more specific conditions for the embargo to be lifted.
“I’m not ready to name preconditions for cancelling the measures that we had imposed, but, naturally, we will see what our partners do,” Dvorkovich said.
The deputy prime minister said that Russia had to impose the embargo to make its Western partners think twice before imposing any anti-Russian measures.
“A significant number of states have imposed serious sanctions against us in a coordinated manner. Undoubtedly, this was a threat. We had to take measures to make them act in a more considerate way,” he said.
On August 7, Russia imposed a ban on food imports from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway in response to the Western sanctions. The ban targeting meat, seafood, dairy products, fruit and vegetables and other foods is expected to last for one year.
Earlier on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headline that the measure was introduced to protect the country’s legitimate interests, including the interests of national security.
The West has been implementing sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. In the interview Lavrov repeated once again that it was meaningless and «absolutely unacceptable» to use the sanctions policy against Russia or any other country, saying such measures «threaten international peace and stability» and run counter to norms and principles of international law.