Russia will continue its food import ban from Western countries for another 6 months as a response to the European sanctions against Russia, which were prolonged earlier this week.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has ordered his government to prepare a decree in name of President Vladimir Putin. This decree will inform the European Union about the extension of the food import ban. Kremlin's spokesperson, Dmitri Peskov, had already revealed on Monday that Russia would react based on the "reciprocity rule" and called the Western sanctions "unfounded and illegal".
Earlier that day, the European Union had extended the economic sanctions against Russia for 6 months after the deadly fights over the weekend in the eastern part of Ukraine. The sanctions, which not only hurt the Russian but also the European economy, will now continue until 31 January 2016. Belgian export of pears, apples and pork has dropped by a fifth, for example.
Russia forbade all import of fruit, vegetables, meat, fowl, fish and dairy from Western countries that had issues sanctions against Russia in relation to the Ukrainian crisis. The European leaders had decided in March that the sanctions would persist until the complete cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine was applied. The West is convinced Russia is supplying military assistance to the rebel forces, although Russia vehemently denies any wrongdoing. The United Nations have claimed the Ukrainian conflict has already cost 6,400 people their lives.