By Decision No 790 from July 4, 2017 Russian Federation has once again prolonged the food import ban, aimed towards the US, EU, Canada, Australia, Norway, Ukraine, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Lichtenstein. This decision is amending the original Decision from 2014, extending the application of the ban until the end of 2018.
These measures represent an answer to the EU economic sanctions, which the European Council re-enforced on 28 June, 2017 through Council Decision 2017/1148.
The ban covers dairy products, poultry, meat, fish, as well as fruits and vegetables. Its start has been triggered by the African swine fever cases in 2014, in EU area near border with Belarus, but has had many political implications since. From that time, there has been WTO dispute and later, in 2016, WTO settled its decision, in favor of EU, effectively looking to end this trade ban. However, Russia did not apply WTO commitments and does not comply with its recommendation, by extending this ban.
Export of agricultural products from EU to Russia has drastically fallen by 36% since the ban introduction, according to the statistics by European Commission. Since then, the EU has been orienting on replacement markets in Hong Kong, US, China and Algeria.
The ban on the other side, is providing fertile ground for development of Russian agricultural and food processing enterprises, as well as in expansion of trade with some non-EU countries, mostly smaller in scale in comparison to the EU.