MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev the coordination of trade and economy after Russia imposed food import embargo against a number of Western countries, the Kremlin’s press center said on Thursday.
“Various aspects were discussed on the aspects of integrated cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union that is being created, including the coordination of activities in the trade and economic areas after decisions were taken on the limitations of imports of several types of agricultural goods and foodstuffs from the EU, the US, and a number of other countries into Russia,” the Kremlin said.
“During an exchange of opinions on the development of the crisis situation in Ukraine, the need for constructive joint work in various formats were emphasized with the goal of mutual action in halting military activities and the launch of an actual political internal Ukrainian dialogue,” the Kremlin added.
Russia is going to rely on its economic partners outside the European Union for agricultural imports. At present, it is seeking to replace essential EU deliveries by products from blocs that Russia is a member of, including the fledgling Eurasian Economic Union (EAU) and the BRICS group of emerging economies.
Both Kazakhstan and Belarus are the founding members of the EAU economic union. Belarus earlier pledged to widen the range of its exports to Russia by including noodles, vegetables, groceries, confectionary products, meat and dairy products.
On Thursday, Russia unveiled its list of banned agriculture products from the United States, European Union and other countries that imposed US-backed sanctions against Russia earlier.
The one-year ban will target imports of beef, pork, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts, as well as cheese and other dairy from the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. The embargo does not include alcoholic beverages, infant foods and products.
At the height of the Ukrainian crisis, the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian officials, business people and companies and pressed for the allies in the West to follow its lead. The European Union, Canada, and Australia soon caved in to the US sanctions push and drew up their own blacklists.
Moscow said it is ready to review the terms of its import restrictions if Western partners show commitment to dialogue.