Moscow ban on food imports is short-sighted, belligerent: industry minister

The federal industry minister says Moscow’s decision to close its borders to western agricultural imports is a short-sighted move that will hurt Russia most.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The federal industry minister says Moscow’s decision to close its borders to western agricultural imports is a short-sighted move that will hurt Russia most.

James Moore was responding to Russia’s announcement that it will halt food shipments from Canada, the United States and many other western countries for the next year.

The blockade is in retaliation for sanctions aimed at getting Russia to stop supporting rebels in Ukraine.

Moore says it showcases what he called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “irresponsible and belligerent” approach to foreign policy.

Canadian pork producers are especially concerned as frozen pork accounts for much of the country’s agri-exports to Russia.

Moore says the potential loss of Russian markets is another reason to open up more free trade with Europe, South Korea and other countries.

At least one group isn’t so sure Russia will take the brunt of the fallout.

The Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council wants the federal government to consider special support for Canadian exporters affected by the sanctions.

Executive director Derek Lothian says Russia is a key customer.

He says the council would like Ottawa to create an emergency fund to offer short-term relief for agricultural processors, producers and related manufacturers that will be hurt.

Lothian says the federal government should also communicate closely with Canadian companies that export to Russia.

He says Russia is strategically important as a stand-alone market and as a gateway to other countries in Eastern Europe.

Lothian warns the sanctions on food products will have a ripple effect on related industries and could result in a loss of Canadian jobs.

“We are known around the world as probably the best supplier of agricultural equipment,” Lothian said Friday. “If there is no money to purchase that equipment in foreign or domestic markets, that equals jobs and investment here at home.”

Russia’s sanctions are aimed at meat, milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables and fish from Canada, the U.S., the European Union, Australia and Norway.

Canada’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $563 million in 2012, mostly in frozen pork, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The council represents about 40 companies in Saskatchewan.

Just Posted

BILD says not the time for higher permit fees in Red Deer

Construction industry is hard hit by slow economy

Bighorn Country telephone town hall for Red Deer area set for Wednesday

Residents can phone in from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to hear about the project or ask questions

Central Alberta real estate sales follow a familiar pattern

2018 house sale numbers mirror 2017 in central Alberta

Red Deer hospital settles dispute, welcomes neonatal nurse

A dispute over nursing levels at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s emergency… Continue reading

Drumheller-Stettler MLA quits UCP

Rick Strankman to sit as Independent

Lucic, Kassian each score twice to power Oilers in 7-2 win over Sabres

EDMONTON — Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian each scored a pair of… Continue reading

Big Valley family gives back to community

Donates $24,560 to Stettler Health Foundation and Edmonton Stollery Children’s Hospital

Giordano notches three points to lead Flames in 7-1 blowout of Coyotes

CALGARY — Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrated his 800th NHL game in… Continue reading

All-female team out to prove women racers aren’t a gimmick

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Every racing series in the world is full… Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ final season to debut on April 14

NEW YORK — “Game of Thrones” fans, get ready. HBO announced Sunday… Continue reading

Kylie Jenner loses record for most-liked Instagram post

NEW YORK — Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement is no longer the most-liked… Continue reading

Study shows black bears need a variety of salmon species to be healthy

VANCOUVER — Black bears need access to different species of salmon rather… Continue reading

Trade war’s wounded: Companies improvise to dodge cost hikes

WASHINGTON — In Rochester, New York, a maker of furnaces for semiconductor… Continue reading

Most Read