Intl producers risk losing Russian market over sanctions- Medvedev

Once sanctions are lifted it may be too late for Western producers to return to the Russian market. By then everything will be replaced by domestically made products, or food and goods imported from other countries, said Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev.

“Talking about the prospect of lifting the countermeasures, not all foreign goods that could previously be found on Russian supermarket shelves will be brought back. That’s because they will have been replaced by products made in Russia or imported from other countries,” said Medvedev at the ninth East Asia Summit in Myanmar on Thursday.

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He added that Russian countermeasures following Western sanctions will be in effect for a year, and could be prolonged.

"These are not sanctions, these are responsive measures. By decree of the President, they are imposed for a year, but can be lifted earlier at the government’s initiative. Of course, they can be prolonged as well," he said.

Medvedev added, though, not all the consequences of Russia’s response are positive, as it is hard to replace all imported items at once.

He believes at some point sanctions will be lifted, bringing relations at least back to the starting point. But the initiative on solving the differences between Russia, EU and the US should come from the West.

As the world market situation remains fragile, Medvedev suggested the G20 should consider the experience of the Asia-Pacific region, "paying attention to the leading position of the region in restoring global growth and its successful economic reforms."