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4 Sep, 2014 12:18

​Russian food ban to cost EU $6.6bn a year – internal document

Russia's decision to impose a food embargo in response to Western sanctions may cost the European Union €5 billion ($6.6 billion) a year, according to an internal EU document.

"The overall temporary restrictions currently applied by Russia potentially jeopardize €5 billion worth of trade," the report seen by Reuters states.

The document, which was presented to European Commissioners in Brussels, shows that the EU's total food exports to Russia were worth €11.8 billion ($15.5 billion) in 2013, while the products covered by the Russian ban represented €5.1 billion ($6.7 billion).

In terms of losses, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands are the top three food suppliers hit hardest by the embargo.

Food destined for Russia made up around 3.3 percent of German exports worth $1.83 billion in 2013.

Poland is the leading exporter of apples, and one of those countries feeling the greatest impact from the Russian food ban, which has lost a $1.55 billion export market.

READ MORE: Who is hit hardest by Russia's trade ban?

On August 7, Russia introduced a one-year food ban on imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway in response to the sanctions imposed over allegations of its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

Russia is the EU's second biggest food market after the United States, and European fruit and vegetables, dairy products and meat, account for almost half of the bloc's food exports to Russia.

EU agriculture ministers will meet in Brussels on Friday to discuss the possible response to the Russian embargo.

"The possibility of well-targeted compensation should be further discussed with member states and with the European Parliament," the document said.

On Wednesday the German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt warned that farmers in Europe affected by the Russian food embargo will not receive full compensation, promising instead support to get a better “grip on the market.”

EU-Russian trade and contracts is not a small thing, so if there is a break down all of Europe could go down the drain and into a recession, economic analyst Michael Mross told RT.

"All sanctions that we saw so far are a shot in our own foot, and all these politicians know this. We are here in Europe, especially in the eurozone, already in recession, in depression, and one thing that we do not need is a problem with Russia, because Russia for us is a huge market, we can do a lot of business," he said.