Over the past two years, the Russian authorities have destroyed more than 16,600 tons of food from countries that fall under Moscow-imposed sanctions, the state agriculture watchdog announced on Tuesday.
As of July 24, 16,131 tons of vegetables and fruits were destroyed, Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Rosselkhoznadzor, said on its website. An additional 474 tons of livestock products have also been destroyed.
Russia banned certain foods from the European Union, United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia in August 2014, in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed on Russia following its annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
In July 2015, President Vladimir Putin ordered the physical destruction of foods and other agricultural products imported to Russia from the countries blacklisted by Moscow. The move was widely unpopular, with memories of famine during Soviet times still fresh in Russians' memories.