MOSCOW, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Russia decided to strike back against recent economic sanctions by banning fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United States, the European Union, Norway, Canada and Australia.
The decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin prohibits or limits "certain types of agricultural products originating in countries that have decided to impose economic sanctions against Russian legal entities and/or individuals or those associated with these measures."
Russian officials were asked to make a specific list of banned items which The Guardian published Thursday. The items banned include: any cattle meat, any pork, any poultry and its byproducts, salted, dried or smoked meat, anything that comes out of the ocean, dairy, vegetables, fruit, nuts, sausage, and cheese. Wine and baby food are exempt from the bans.
Europe is likely to be hit hardest as Russia imported around $16.3 billion worth of food and raw goods from Europe in 2013 following years of double-digit growth. Russia is Europe's second-largest market for food and beverages.
As much as this might hurt Europe, it could hurt Russia as well. Forbes contributor and fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London Tim Worstall points out Russia is "cutting off its nose to spite its face." After already taking a blow from sanctions on energy, finance and arms, banning food imports can deliver another hit to Russia's economy and increase food prices for ordinary Russians.
The bans are in response to increased sanctions against Russia for its stance in Ukraine and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Fight 17, which left 298 people dead.