Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov has brushed off EU threats of sanctions, saying food imports from other countries would make up for any EU cuts.
Fyodorov told reporters on Friday that Russia did not expect a big deficit in any sector in the event of sanctions and that it could find alternative food suppliers if the West decides to impose a food embargo on the country.
The Russian Minister said there was a queue of countries ready to raise supplies if needed.
He said suppliers were telling him that they “would like to be the first to supply products as an alternative to Poland or Lithuania or some other country.”
Fyodorov comments come as US president Barack Obama will soon be discussing further sanctions on Russia with EU leaders over Moscow’s stance on Ukraine.
The US has so far imposed sanctions on Russian individuals, but has not targeted the country’s economy.
Fyodorov’s remarks echoed Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev who said earlier this week that Moscow is ready to protect its economy and Russian citizens.
Medvedev said he will not let Russian citizens become hostage to political games and unfriendly actions.