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article imageRussia issues ban on Polish fruit and vegetables

By Mike Rossi     Aug 4, 2014 in Politics
Moscow - Tensions continue to mount between politicians in Moscow and those across the Western world regarding the nearly five month-old Crimean Crisis.
Though the United States and European Union have stopped short of becoming militarily involved, they have exercised a firm political hand in dealing with Russia's open support of the Crimean separatists, issuing a litany of economic sanctions designed to hit Vladimir Putin's government where it hurts the most: the wallet.
Responding in kind, late last week Russian officials announced a ban on the import of all fruits and vegetables from Poland which coincidentally happens to be one of the most outspoken critics of Russian involvement in the former Ukrainian Crimea.
Moscow insists the ban is for legitimate health and safety concerns —citing abnormally high pesticide levels— rather than a retaliation for Western criticisms.
As silly as it may sound, banning Polish fruits and vegetables will have real economic implications for the former Soviet Bloc member.
Poland exports nearly $3 billion dollars worth of produce — about 25% of all fruit and vegetable exports — into the Russian Federation each year meaning the ban could cost Polish agricultural businesses roughly $800,000 per day.
Although the farming industry will feel the hit as a whole, the owners of apple orchards will feel the greatest impact as nearly all Polish apple exports go to Russia.
At this time, no other country has placed an embargo on Polish produce.
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