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Food embargo against West to benefit Russia’s economy- Putin

Published time: August 14, 2014 14:30
Edited time: August 15, 2014 07:27
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting with deputies of the Russian Parliament and other politicians and officials at Sanatorium Mriya near Yalta, Crimea, August 14, 2014. (Reuters / Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting with deputies of the Russian Parliament and other politicians and officials at Sanatorium Mriya near Yalta, Crimea, August 14, 2014. (Reuters / Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russia’s food ban against many Western products will help Russia strengthen its domestic food market, President Putin said Thursday.

“Most important- we will develop our own production and will restrict low quality Western goods,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said addressing Crimean parliament members in Yalta on Thursday.

Last week, Russia introduced counter sanction measures, blocking the import of agricultural products from the US, EU, Canada, Norway, and Australia.

“The response of the Russian Federation to Western sanctions is legal and valid. It will help, and not harm our domestic economy,” Putin said.

Russia has already found alternative trade partners. Turkey, which already supplies a fifth of the country’s food, has agreed to provide more. Egypt and Russia are reportedly in talks to set up a free trade zone, and Putin has negotiated with Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador on imports to Russia.

“It’s not just retaliation, primarily it is a measure to support domestic manufacturers, as well as opening our markets to producers from countries that want, and are ready to cooperate with Russia,” the President said.

Economists warn that Russia’s new embargo against Western goods will give way to soaring food prices and higher inflation - which some predict will reach 8 or 9 percent by the end of the year, up from 6 percent.

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