World

Kremlin chief of staff: If Western sanctions stay, so will Russian ban on Western food

FILE - In this Aug 20, 2014 file photo file photo Ukrainian soldiers muster at a point close to Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. The leading Western democracies used the G-7 summit in Schloss Elmau hotel to present a united front on the actions in Ukraine of Russia, which they ejected from what used to be the G-8 last year following its annexation of the Crimean peninsula. They made clear that any lifting of sanctions depends on Russia fully implementing a peace accord brokered in Minsk in February by Germany and France, and said they “also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require.”  (AP Photo/Petro Zadorozhnyy)

FILE - In this Aug 20, 2014 file photo file photo Ukrainian soldiers muster at a point close to Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. The leading Western democracies used the G-7 summit in Schloss Elmau hotel to present a united front on the actions in Ukraine of Russia, which they ejected from what used to be the G-8 last year following its annexation of the Crimean peninsula. They made clear that any lifting of sanctions depends on Russia fully implementing a peace accord brokered in Minsk in February by Germany and France, and said they “also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require.” (AP Photo/Petro Zadorozhnyy)  (The Associated Press)

The Kremlin's chief of staff says Russia will keep its ban on Western food in place as long as the West maintains its sanctions against Russia.

Sergei Ivanov pointed at the decision by the Group of Seven most powerful democracies to maintain sanctions against Russia. He was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying "it's quite logical to assume that Russia will also extend its sanctions."

The U.S. and the EU slapped Russia with sanctions in response to its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. They cut Russia's access to Western capital markets and halted exports of military and energy technologies. Moscow retaliated by banning many food imports from the West.

Ivanov said Wednesday the ban has bolstered the domestic agricultural sector.