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Russia to Impose Food Ban Against Ukraine Starting Jan. 1

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on the introduction of a food embargo against Ukraine in response to the country joining anti-Russian sanctions, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

“Starting Jan. 1, 2016, Russia will extend the economic measures for Ukraine in connection with it joining anti-Russian sanctions by the European Union and the United States,” Medvedev said at a meeting with deputy prime ministers on Monday.

In August 2014, Moscow imposed a food ban on a wide range of food imports from EU, U.S., Norway, Canada and Australia in retaliation for the Western sanctions against Russia over its role in the Ukraine conflict.

In June, Russia prolonged the ban for another year, following the extension of anti-Russian sanctions by the Western leaders.

In August, the Kremlin extended the food embargo to Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Liechtenstein over their support of the anti-Russian sanctions. Regarding Ukraine, Russia said it would apply special conditions of embargo, which would come into effect in case Kiev agreed to an economic association with EU, but not later than from Jan.1, 2016.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk estimated losses caused by the Russian embargo in 2016 at $600 million, the RBC newspaper reported last month.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending an agreement for a free trade zone between Russia and Ukraine. The measure also comes into effect on Jan.1.

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