World

Russia tightens 'anti-sanctions' ban on European food imports

Russia is set to tighten its ban on food imports from Europe by restricting re-exports of fruit and vegetables through European countries.

The deputy head of Russia's agricultural regulator, Yulia Shvabauskene, says Russia has already stopped re-exports through Bulgaria because it suspects companies there of using false documents to get around Russia's import ban, marking European produce as coming from countries unaffected by the ban.

In response to Western sanctions, Russia in August blocked most food imports from countries including the United States and European Union nations. Since then, Russian food prices have risen sharply.

The new restriction on re-exports through Bulgaria are "just the start," Shvabauskene told Russian agency Tass, adding that Russia is "examining the option of not accepting any European re-export certificates at all."