Through a presidential decree, Russia has extended until December 31 of next year the ban it imposed on Western food in response to the sanctions that the European Union (EU), the United States, and other countries imposed on them in 2014 for their involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of the Donbas war.
Russia first imposed this ban, which it extends annually, in August 2014 against the EU, the United States, Australia, Norway, and Canada. In 2015 it would include Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, and in 2016, Ukraine.
Putin extended the embargo on the West hours before participating in the G20 summit, where he stressed the need for common efforts to combat COVID-19 and highlighted its impact on the world economy.
The EU, which does not recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea, has conditioned ending their economic sanctions against Russia on the full application of the Minsk Agreements for the resolution of the conflict in Donbas between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists.
Putin has admitted that the embargo is, in reality, a protectionist measure aimed at protecting the Russian agricultural food market, unable to compete with Western exports. In fact, many Russian producers want the ban on the West to be prolonged as long as possible.