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Russia adds salt to list of embargoed foods

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Russia has added salt to its list of banned products from the EU and other countries.

The decision will come into force on 1 November this year and includes both table and denatured salt, pure sodium chloride and salt dissolved in water, according to the country’s state news agency Tass.

In April this year agriculture minister Alexander Tkachev announced the embargo would be extended until 2017 but had said the list of banned food products would not change.

The embargo on food and agriculture products from European Union countries, the USA, Australia and others, in place since 2014, is in response to sanctions imposed against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine.

According to EU data, exports to Russia fell by 43% between August 2014 and June 2015 compared to the same period one year before, a loss valued at around €4.4 billion.

Meanwhile Russia imposed restrictions on Ukraine on 1 January 2016 after the latter established a free trade zone with the EU. In addition to the ban on food products, the Federal Customs Service of Russia barred any Ukrainian foods from travelling over Russian land to enter Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.

According to Ukraine’s deputy minister of economic and trade development, Natalia Mykolska, this has cost the country around $1 billion (€0.9bn) in lost trade so far.

Finding alternative markets is proving difficult for certain commodities. Beef exports to the EU, for instance, are required to comply with 15 requirements but Ukraine currently has only nine.

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