21-08-2014 03:46 AM | Russian Federation

Russia reveals huge cost of Western food ban

Russia's agriculture minister warned Wednesday that Moscow must spend billions of dollars in the coming years subsidising farmers in order to avoid a shortage caused by its ban on most Western foods.

Agriculture Minister Nokolai Fyodorov's stark comments represented Moscow's first admission that its decision to strike back at US and EU sanctions with sweeping food bans may have long-term costs for both its budget and consumers.

The trade war is part of a broader crisis in East-West relations sparked by Russia's perceived attempts to split strife-torn Ukraine in two after Kiev's decision to seek a closer political and economic alliance with Europe.
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