Russia set to extend EU food import ban

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich

EU food import ban:  With the EU considering extending its package of sanctions against Russia, Moscow looks likely to extend its retaliatory ban on Western food imports, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich indicated this week, telling reporters that “We are not currently considering cancelling the ban.” 
The ban, which  covers most food imports from the US, the EU and their allies, is due to run out on Aug. 7, a year after it was imposed; but with Brussels suggesting it may extend its own sanctions on Russia until the peace deal on Ukraine is seen to have held,  there appears to be little incentive for Moscow to lift the ban. President Vladimir  Putin has also made it clear that he sees the ban as an opportunity for Russia’s agribusinesses and food producers to increase their long-term competitiveness and productivity.