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Russia extends Western food ban for one year

Moscow has extended a ban on Western food imports for a year days after the EU prolonged until January its sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine's civil war. Officials say they are considering more curbs on the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the extension order on Wednesday, according to local media.

"The government turned to me with an appeal to extend the measures," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. "Just like the head of government proposed, we are extending our retaliatory measures by one year beginning today."

Lat year,

Russia prohibited food imports

from the United States, European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, as a countermeasure against the West's sanctions over the country's annexation of the Crimea region and its alleged support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

More import curbs possible

It was expected that the ban - which prohibits fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, milk and dairy products worth $9 billion (8 billion euros) - would be extended for six months starting from August after

EU foreign ministers decided to continue sanctions on Russia

this week.

"We are really considering other proposals on the sanction list," Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

The possible additions to the list could be confectionary, canned fish products and flowers, the minister said, adding that his country's confectionary and flower industries were quite developed and the fishing sector was steadily progressing.

shs/mkg (Reuters, AFP)

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