Russian Food Imports Fall Sharply Over Economic Slowdown and Embargo

In June, Russia prolonged the food ban for another year after the EU and the U.S. expanded their sanctions on Russia.

Food imports into Russia have dropped considerably in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday.

Meat imports dropped by 27 percent in the first nine months of the year, while poultry and fish imports contracted 1.6 times and 1.7 times respectively, the news agency reported, citing data from the Federal Customs Service.

A big drop was also seen in imports of butter and vegetable oil, that were down 1.7 and 3.2 times respectively between January and September.

The decline comes as consumer spending in Russia has been dramatically hit by the country's economic recession and the weakened ruble — which has made imports more expensive.

Food imports were also down due to Russia's ban on many Western food products that the country introduced last year in retaliation to sanctions on Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

In June, Russia prolonged the food ban for another year after the EU and the U.S. expanded their sanctions on Russia.

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