Here’s the List of Foods Russia Won’t Import From Other Countries

Russian consumers will have to say goodbye to French cheeses, Australian beef, and chocolate from various European nations.

National Journal
Marina Koren
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Marina Koren
Aug. 7, 2014, 10:43 a.m.

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
  • Saus­ages
  • All fish
  • Crus­ta­ceans, a cat­egory that in­cludes crab, lob­ster, and shrimp
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Ve­get­ables 
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Cheese

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.

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