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The EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia’s banking, oil and defence sectors over its annexation of Crimea in 2014, and support for eastern Ukrainian separatists. In response, Russia banned a significant number of EU food products from entering its market.

As a result, trade between Russia and the EU dropped by over $180 billion between 2013 and last year. Together with slowing Chinese demand, Russia’s embargo has put enormous pressure on an already struggling EU agricultural markets. A “lose-lose” game The EU-Russia trade war has severely impacted the Russian economy, with food prices increasing, and quality declining.

On the other hand, the pan-European farmers’ association Copa-Cogeca, claims that after the Russian ban. EU farmers and agricultural cooperatives lost their main export market overnight worth €5.5 billion.

The sectors most hit by the Russian ban are the dairy, pork, beef and fruit and vegetable sectors. Pork prices are less than they were 11 years ago and milk prices over 40% below levels seen two years ago. In the meantime, EU ambassadors last week agreed to extend their economic sanctions against Russia to January 2017, due to the lack progress on a peace process to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine. However, EU farmers  are urging the European Commission to give an end to the deadlock.Re-open the Russian market  Copa-Cogeca, believes that the Commission should make more efforts to find a solution on the issue, either by entering new markets or ending the EU-Russia stalemate. To mitigate the impact of the ban, we urge the EU Commission to step up efforts to open new export markets and also to boost promotion measures,” Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen told euractiv.com.

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