Several government agencies now join forces in a campaign against food products imported to Russia from the EU, USA and other countries in violation with the embargo.
The Federal Customs Service, the State Consumer Control Authority and the Agriculture Control Authority will together destroy illegal products when discovered not only on the border, but also in shops, storehouses and other places in the country, newspaper Kommersant reports.
Russia in August 2014 introduced an extensive embargo on western food as a retaliatory measure against the sanction regime imposed by the EU and USA. In late June this year, the embargo was extended to August 2016.
Major leakages in the embargo have become widely known, and western products are for sale all over the country, most of them taken into Russia through transit countries like Belarus. The embargo includes salmon and other fish products from non-EU country Norway.
Those leakages might now come to an end. Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachev recently called for tougher action against the illegal imports and soon won support from President Vladimir Putin, RIA Novosti reports.
From now on, illegally imported foodstuff will be destructed “in any way allowed by the law and irrespectively of the goods’ ownership and the ones responsible for their transportation to the country”, Kommersant writes.
The tougher stance on the illegal imports could ultimately lead to another hike in Russian consumer prices. As previously reported, the introduction of the embaro last year was followed by a steep price increase. However, as illustrated by Patchwork Barents, the regional data portal, inflation has this year stabilized and is now back on the level of early 2014.