World Economy

Sanctions War Benefits Moscow’s Friends

Sanctions War Benefits  Moscow’s FriendsSanctions War Benefits  Moscow’s Friends

Moscow's ban on food imports from the European Union and United States has reportedly led to a drastic increase in food imports from countries that were not affected by Russia's food embargo.

Russia's food import ban on the West has finally resulted in the restructuring of the country's food imports; the first four months of this year saw a significant increase in food imports from countries that were not on Russia's food embargo list, according to statistics released by the Russian Federal Customs Service, Sputnik reported.

Some of these countries are demonstrating unprecedented trade growth rates. For example, Turkey's meat supplies to Russia increased by 940 percent between January and April 2015, an incredible increase as compared to the same period last year. Turkey became the third largest supplier to the Russian market in this group after Belarus and Brazil, with a share of 11.1 percent.

Columbia became the leader of growth in the supply of cattle meat to Russia, as its shipments grew by more than 1,000 percent in the first four months of 2015.

Pakistan has, meanwhile, taken the lead in Russia's vegetables market, with at least 18,000 tons of vegetables reportedly being supplied to Russia between January and April of this year; it is an eyebrow-raising growth compared to 2014, when only one thousand tons of vegetables were delivered to Russia from Pakistan.

The first four months of 2015 also saw a drastic increase in fish supplies from Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which grew by 2,671 percent and 189 percent, respectively.

Imports From Ukraine

Despite a chill in political ties between Russia and Ukraine, the import of some Ukrainian goods increased significantly in the first four months of 2015; in particular, cattle meat imports grew by 141 percent, while pork supplies surged at least 10-fold, according to the Russian Federal Customs Service statistics.

Moscow imposed a ban on the supply of certain categories of food products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway in August 2014 in retaliation after these countries imposed sanctions on Russia.

The one-year food embargo was slapped on some types of meat, fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. On June 5, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Moscow will proceed from the West's actions when it decides whether to extend the food embargo. He made it plain that Russia is not going to persuade the West to return to the Russian market, given the latest statements by some western leaders.

EU Suffering Aftereffects

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said recently that western countries' anti-Russia sanctions will remain in place at the expense of European economies suffering their aftereffects.

"We recognize that many of the countries that we're counting on to continue to enforce these sanctions are countries who do so at some sacrifice to their own economy," Earnest told reporters.

US President Barack Obama's press secretary stressed a "pretty important signal" the European Union members send despite the costs to their economies, which he said are "more integrated with Russia than the United States."

Italy, Poland, and Greece are among the EU members that suffered economic losses over the past year due to the effects of measures aimed against the Russian economy.

Following a half-hour private session with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama emphasized unity among the Group of Seven (G7) leaders to keep sanctions in place against "Russian aggression in Ukraine."