Kremlin softens stance on foreign food embargo

© Vladimir Astapkovich
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on Wednesday to shorten the list of Western food products banned in Russia. Poultry, beef and vegetables used in the production of baby food have been removed from the blacklist.

The import of these products to Russia will be allowed if it is proved they will be used in the production of baby food, according to the amendment.

Last week, after the G7 discussed extending sanctions against Russia, Medvedev ordered the embargo on Western food products to be prolonged till the end of 2017.

“Our agricultural companies have repeatedly asked to continue the embargo on products from countries that had imposed sanctions against Russia or later joined them. I ordered draft proposals on extending the countermeasures not for a year but until the end of 2017," Medvedev said.

European leaders are meeting in July to vote on whether to extend sanctions against Russia, which were imposed in 2014 after Moscow was accused of supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine and annexing Crimea.

The sanctions targeted Russia’s financial, energy, and defense sectors, as well as some government officials, businessmen, and public figures.