Russia has banned imported fruits and vegetables from Poland. Russia is one of Poland's primary exports for produce. Poland earns $1.3 billion per year from Russia in this market. While all fruits and veggies will be affected, this ban will be especially brutal for the apple market, as Russia is Poland's largest apple market.
Russia is citing pesticide issues as the reason for the ban, though it comes immediately after increased sanctions against them from the United States and European Union. Poland was one of many nations to condemn Russia's handling of the violent situation in eastern Ukraine. Poland also accused Kremlin of handing weapons over to the pro-Russian separatists currently occupying the area around the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site.
Food hygiene authorities in Russia claim the produce has "unacceptable levels" of nitrates and pesticides, though no other nations have found the same results, and no one else has banned Poland's fruit. The ban will likely affect 0.6 percent of the gross domestic output, as the entire agriculture industry is just under four percent of the total gross domestic output. Farmers plan to work with the E.U. for compensation for this loss.
This is one of a number of food bans Russia has recently instituted. Russia has already banned Ukrainian soy products, cornmeal, sunflowers, fruit juice, dairy, canned fish, vegetables, and Roshen chocolate. (Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko owns Roshen, which produces some of the most popular confections in Eastern Europe.) Russia has also banned imports for fruit from Moldova and pork from the E.U. For every ban, Russia cites various health issues.
The Russian dinner table is starting to look quite boring.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.