On measures to implement the Presidential Executive Order On Applying Certain Special Economic
Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation.
Excerpts from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s introductory remarks during the Government meeting.
7 August 2014
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Before we start discussing the agenda, I would like to inform you of the
following: For a long time, Russia has not responded to the so-called sanctions declared against it by certain
countries. Until the last moment, we hoped that our foreign colleagues would realise that sanctions lead to a blind
alley, and that no one benefits from them. But they didn’t realise this, and now we have been forced to respond.
Yesterday, the President of the Russian Federation signed an Executive Order On Applying Certain Special Economic
Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation. This basically means an embargo on importing entire
categories of products from those countries which have declared economic sanctions against Russian organisations and
individuals. I have signed a Government resolution on enforcing this Executive Order.
Russia has completely banned the importation of beef, pork, fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and
dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and the Kingdom of Norway. Of course, this
is a serious decision with regard to the distributors of these products from the above countries. At the same time, I
would like to emphasise that these measures will not affect baby food imports. And, naturally, they don’t apply to
products being purchased by individuals in these countries in line with our customs legislation.
These restrictions shall be introduced starting today, and for a period of 12 months. But, if our partners display a
constructive approach towards cooperation issues, then the Government would be willing to revise the specific
implementation deadlines for these measures.
I hereby instruct the Federal Customs Service to carry out and enforce this directive as quickly as possible. In
other words, it shall stop the shipment of the relevant products. The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry
of Agriculture will start monitoring the commodity markets and price levels on a daily basis, and they shall report
their findings to the Government.
I would also like to warn everyone that any attempts to obtain speculative profits from this situation will be
stopped and held accountable. The Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of
Industry and Trade and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service shall enhance their cooperation with retail chain
representatives and producers. They shall hold meetings and consultations, and they shall chart a joint action plan in
order to compensate for product shortfalls and, of course, to prevent price hikes.
I have repeatedly stated that there is nothing productive about sanctions. We had a hard time deciding on
retaliatory measures, and we were forced to make this decision. But I am confident that we’ll be able to take advantage
of the situation even under these conditions.
While touring the country and meeting with farmers, we have repeatedly heard complaints that Russian retail chains
and shops do not allow the sale of Russian foodstuffs. You have also heard and seen this many times. The retaliatory
measures that we are introducing will essentially open up shop shelves for domestic producers. Of course, Russian
farmers will have to accomplish a lot and work hard, but this opportunity to launch and expand import-substituting
production facilities should not be missed. Naturally, our trade partners from other countries will still cooperate
with us on the entire range of the above items.
The Food Security Doctrine that was approved four years ago is being implemented effectively with regard to a
considerable number of foodstuffs. For example, grain, sugar, vegetable oil and potato production volumes now exceed
the threshold levels being stipulated by the Doctrine. The same is true of poultry and, in principle, pork.
Where we are lagging behind is in certain kinds of meat and milk. We should fill in the gap on our own, and our
farmers are ready to do this, especially with our help. Again, I repeat: our trade partners from other countries are
still working with us. I am sure that our market will be filled with fresh quality Russian products, which anyway many
Russians prefer to the imported ones.
The next thing I’d like to focus on is that we are also developing measures to retaliate against the EU sanctions
against Dobrolyot for its service to Simferopol. As you all know, on 4 August our first low-cost carrier was forced to
suspend operations as a result of these unfriendly acts. All of its European partners refused to meet their obligations
to lease, provide maintenance or insurance for planes or to provide air navigation data. This has brought many problems
to our people that we’ve had to deal with. In this context, the Russian Government is considering a series of
responses. I’ll name them. This doesn’t mean they’ll be taken right away, but they are on the table.
First, they include an airspace ban against European and US airlines that fly over our airspace to Eastern Asia,
namely, the Asia-Pacific Region. This is a very tough measure indeed. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned.
Second, we are considering changing the so-called Russian airspace entry and exit points for European scheduled and
charter flights. This, of course, will affect transportation costs and fare prices for the Western carriers.
Third, this country is ready to revise the rules of using the trans-Siberian routes, that is, to denounce the agreed
upon modernisation principles of the existing system. This revision will apply in full to the EU countries. We will
also discontinue talks with the US air authorities on the use of the trans-Siberian routes.
Fourth, starting this winter, we may revoke the additional rights issued by the Russian air authorities beyond the
I’d like to emphasise that all these measures are not being introduced yet, but otherwise can be implemented either
separately or together. As a result, the expenses of Western airlines will grow significantly. I repeat, we are only
considering these steps now, but the Government has already taken one specific decision.
We’re referring to the suspension of Ukrainian airlines’ transit flights through Russian airspace to a number of
countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey.
Finally, we’re potentially ready to adopt protective measures for the aircraft, shipbuilding and auto industries as
well as other industries, but we’ll do these things in a measured manner. The Government realizes the significance of
cooperation in these spheres, so naturally we‘re taking a realistic approach while considering our own opportunities.
I repeat that all I’ve just said, all the measures I’ve mentioned are simply responses. We did not want this to
happen, and I sincerely hope that our partners’ economic pragmatism will prevail over malevolent political
considerations, that they will think matters over, rather than intimidate or impose restrictions on Russia, and that
mutually profitable trade and economic cooperation will be restored to its former level. We would very much hope for