Russia intends to prolong its ban on food imports from the US, the EU and other countries for six months beyond the 7 August deadline, according to various reports.
The announcement, provided by a spokesperson for prime minister Dmitry Medvedev to Russia’s TASS news agency, came as EU foreign ministers extended sanctions against Russia until the end of January, a move purportedly designed to pressurise Russia into resolving the crisis with Ukraine.
"Taking into account that the European Union has extended sanctions against the Russian Federation for half a year, I ask you to prepare my proposal to the president to extend the presidential degree for this period," Medvedev apparently told his deputies.
The move is likely to encourage suppliers previously reliant on Russia, including Belgian and Greek exporters, to continue their search for new markets, with East Asia and the Middle East proving the main targets.
Due to the severe decline in the Russian rouble, even exporters still permitted to send to the market will be continuing their search for new opportunities elsewhere.