Earlier this week, Moscow announced a yearlong embargo on imported food products from countries that have imposed sanctions against Russian companies and people, prompting some Russians to (half)jokingly bid farewell to their favorite treats on social media.
The Russian government published the complete list of goods on its official website on Thursday. The food ban applies to the United States, European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. Here's what's on it:
- Beef (fresh, chilled, or frozen)
- Pork (fresh, chilled, or frozen)
- Poultry (fresh, chilled, or frozen)
- Dried or smoked meat
- All fish
- Crustaceans, a category that includes crab, lobster, and shrimp
- Milk and dairy products
All the banned imports are basic staples, which means that Russia can source them from other friendlier nations (like the former Soviet republics), or boost its own domestic food production. Still, a year is a long time to go without French cheeses or Belgian chocolate, and Russians are heading to grocery stores to stock up on foreign goods they've been eating since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
While the ban has the potential to hurt U.S. companies with Russian trade deals, the restrictions will likely hurt Russia too. Russia imports about 25 percent of its food, according to figures reported by The New York Times. Of that, about 75 percent comes from the United States and Europe. Putin seems to finally be listening to the West, people joke, because he is the latest to sanction Russia.
The food ban is being touted as a point of nationalistic pride in Russia: See, we don't need the West to survive! A similar ban in 2010, of U.S. poultry imports, was given the same message, eschewing the days of the early 1990s when the first Bush administration sent over American chicken to feed a hungry people facing a dire economic situation. Then and now, reliance on Western countries for the basics is something Putin wants to forget.
But judging from this list, foreign booze is fine.
This story has been updated.