Russia bans Aus produce

08 Aug, 2014 12:05 AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Australian farmers will feel the effects of the sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop says she is disappointed Russia has imposed a “full embargo” on food imports from Australia, arguing Moscow should have instead moved to halt the supply of heavy weapons to separatist rebels in Ukraine.

The wide-ranging Russian sanctions apply to most foodstuffs from Western countries and are a response to limited sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday that "Russia is introducing a full embargo on import of beef, pork, fruit and vegetable produce, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, United States, Australia, Canada and Norway".

Australian farmers will feel the effects of the sanctions. Australian beef exports to Russia were worth $159 million in 2013, butter exports accounted for $64 million, live animals excluding seafood accounted for $55 million and meats excluding beef were worth another $48 million.

Overall, two-way trade between Australia and Russia in 2013 was worth about $1.79 billion in 2013, according to Department of Foreign Affairs statistics.

Those figures equated to $736 million in exports to the Russian federation and about $1.057 billion in imports from the Russian federation.

Ms Bishop said Australia had acted with other members of the international community to impose sanctions against Russia over its annexation of the Crimea in March and over its support for destabilising forces in Ukraine.

“The EU, US, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand and others have also variously implemented a number of targeted sanctions, travel bans or other measures,’’ she said.

“It is disappointing that Russia has acted in a retaliatory manner rather than respond to international concern by halting the supply of heavy weapons to the separatists, including the surface-to-air missile systems believed to have been used in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that resulted in the tragic deaths of 38 citizens and residents of Australia.”

Ms Bishop said the Australian government would do everything in its power to minimise the impact on Australian agricultural producers.

The Russuan decision follows a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin ordering the government to ban or limit food imports from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow for its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

"There is nothing good in sanctions and it wasn't an easy decision to take, but we had to do it," Mr Medvedev said.

The ban will last for one year, he said.

Mr Medvedev said Russia was also considering banning Western carriers from flying over Russia on flights to and from Asia - a move that would significantly swell costs and increase flight time.

He said the decision on that had not been made yet.

- with AFP

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8/08/2014 7:45:39 AM

Don't you just hate it when people play you at your own game.
John Newton
8/08/2014 8:07:25 AM

Good move Vlad especially in the EU
8/08/2014 8:11:21 AM

Politicians playing with peoples businesses again. Instead of agriculture always paying for others bad decisions, how about the politicians taking a huge pay cut so they can feel the pain from their decisions instead of us all the time!
8/08/2014 8:24:47 AM

So primary producers cop the brunt of government foreign policies (again). Wipes all teh gains for the recent trade deals. One step forward two steps back. How about the rest of the econmony take a hit as well? Start by stopping all visa application approvals to all Russians. Stay at home and complain to your leader!
8/08/2014 8:50:47 AM

It’s starting to get a little monotonous for farmers becoming the whipping boy for Australia’s international obligations so that all Australians can feel morally superior without the need to pay for this warm and fuzzy feeling, from locking up private land to meet the now redundant Kyoto obligations to banning live cattle exports to Indonesia to imposing Australian law on foreign sovereign countries thru ESCAS.
8/08/2014 8:51:17 AM

Who ever thought any country could take on Putin/Russia without getting scarred? Lets face it, they know they have enough nuclear weapons to do what they like and get away with it. Simple really.
8/08/2014 9:05:38 AM

Hate to see any of you commentators above inconvenienced !!!!....tell that to the parents of Mo Evie and Otis
Rob Moore
8/08/2014 9:13:43 AM

Agree totally payg- what else did the west expect.Hippocrites everywhere and Australia would be much better served by not blindly picking sides. It was a warzone and -fly over it at your peril- the damage is done so another string of "wrongs" won't bring the poor victims back.
Frank Blunt
8/08/2014 9:29:36 AM

What did Australia expect Putin to do , send us Christmas cards .
8/08/2014 9:52:49 AM

Well,,, Abbott and Bishop should have reserved their knee jerk reaction against Putin. Two little Obama puppets jumping on the bandwagon, grandstanding to take the heat off the budget fiasco and sneaking this police state mandatory data trawl bill by Brandis. And who suffers ?? the innocent person on the land, yet again
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Why do they forget the small producers they are the backbone of the industry. What. Did this
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Good these guys will be able to help the farmers they are treating like second class peasants.
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Lets' hope Troy Grant doesn't Delforce's website or it will be yet another NSW