President Vladimir Putin has signed a law prolonging the embargo against Western countries that have imposed anti-Russia sanctions. Restrictions will be in force until the end of next year.
The document which was published on Russia’s official portal of legal information, reads: “To extend from January 1 to December 31, 2020 the operation of certain special economic measures stipulated by the presidential decree of August 6, 2014.”
Five years ago, the Kremlin banned imports of certain agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuffs from Western countries that target Russia with sanctions. They include the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, Norway, Iceland, Albania, Montenegro, Liechtenstein, and Ukraine.
The embargo came in response to US and EU economic sanctions over Moscow’s reunification with Crimea and alleged involvement in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. The restrictions targeted finance, energy and defense sectors of the Russian economy.
Mutual sanctions have been prolonged and extended since then, despite proving ineffective and harmful to the sides. On Thursday, the European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia for another year.
Talking about the sanctions during his annual Direct Line Q&A session last week, Putin said Western economic restrictions have deprived the Russian economy of $50 billion while the EU has lost $240 billion.
He pointed out that Russia has managed to benefit from Western economic pressure as it started phasing out imports and replacing them with domestically made products, even in sectors in which it did not have any experience.
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