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Russian Lawmakers Propose Fines for Sales of Banned Food

A bill presented at the Russian State Duma on Monday would introduce fines of up to 1 million rubles ($14,154) for the sale of food items that Russia has banned from import to the country in response to Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party, who introduced the bill, argued in an explanatory note that “despite all efforts, trade in these [banned] products continues on the territory of the Russian Federation,” according to documents published on the legislature's website.

“Such actions go against the state's foreign policy, and require additional legislative regulation in the form of increasing administrative penalties for the persons conducting such activities,” the note said.

The bill would introduce an array of fines for offenders against Russia's food import ban, up to 1 million rubles for companies and organizations. Vendors would also see banned foods confiscated under the bill.

Russia had previously been burning and bulldozing foods banned from import, after government officers seized such items. The destruction of food prompted an outcry in the country, and an online petition urging the government to donate the food to low-income people.

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