Russian dairy market likely to remain closed

Published 1 June 16

The ban on Russian dairy imports looks likely to be extended until the end of 2017, according to a statement made by its Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, last week. This confirms statements made by a leading Russian dairy commentator at the recent DIN conference that the ban was likely to remain until at least 2018. The ban is officially set to end in August of this year, but a proposal for the extension has been requested for approval by President Putin.

The extension is being proposed in advance of discussions by EU leaders on whether to maintain the sanctions after they expire in July. Any extension will require the unanimous agreement of all 28 member states. Resistance to an extension is reported to be increasing, due to the hardship caused to producers of banned food products.

Although there may be some resistance at an EU level to a continuation of the sanctions, it has been reported that world leaders will not lift sanctions against Russia until the peace accords are fully implemented in Ukraine.