TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 26, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members to discuss import substitution in industry and agriculture. Other subjects of discussion included preparations for children’s summer holidays, work on the draft law on responsible treatment of animals, and the programme to build or reconstruct village cultural centres. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, […]

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NEWSLINK CNN: “Dining under Putin: How sanctions are fueling a Russian food revolution”

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

“Import bans have failed to put the kibosh on Russia’s culinary inventiveness. Restaurants are returning to what Russia does best, such as traditional dishes made with root vegetables such as beetroot.”

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NEWSLINK Politics.eu: “Russia’s boom (farming) economy. Kremlin credits Western sanctions. The truth is more complicated.”

Field of Grain file photo

“… When the West slapped sanctions on Russia in 2014 and Moscow retaliated with a trade embargo, the consensus was that Moscow was shooting itself in the foot by banning fresh produce from the EU. A little more than two years later, the Kremlin insists the sanctions have galvanized a new generation of Stakhanovite farmers to smash production targets and propel the country […]

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Russia Shifts Focus From Oil To Agriculture

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Michael McDonald – October 13, 2016) Michael MaDonald is an assistant professor of finance and a frequent consultant to companies regarding capital structure decisions and investments. Russia’s biggest industry has been oil production historically, but the country appears to be trying to diversify that by putting more emphasis on agriculture. The former soviet state has been relying on […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: “Please pass the Russian Parmesan: Cheesemakers celebrate sanctions, and hope they continue.”

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

“… When Russian President Vladimir Putin banned most food imports from Europe in 2014 in response to Western sanctions, Russian dairy farmers rejoiced as deliveries of French and Italian cheeses ceased. Now, they believed, they could compete. Since then, they have tried to duplicate all sorts of famous varieties, from Camembert to Emmenthal. But one global delicacy remains largely beyond […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev

Field of Grain file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 27, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev. The Minister briefed the President on the planned grain harvest and the Russian agricultural industry’s export potential. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Tkachev, harvesting is gradually moving towards completion. What result will you report this year? Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev: The outlook is better than ever. […]

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Angry Farmers Stage Tractor March on Moscow

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – August 22, 2016) Several hundred farmers from southern Russia complained of intense police harassment Monday as they entered the second day of a drive towards Moscow they are staging to raise awareness about the problem of local corruption. In the space of 24 hours, their convoy of tractors and cars was stopped […]

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Putin Is Growing Organic Power One T-34 Tank-Tomato at a Time; Backed by billionaires’ cash, Russian food exports are now worth more than Kalashnikovs and all other military hardware combined.

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anatoly Medetsky, Matthew Campbell, Yuliya Fedorinova – June 7, 2016) [Photos and charts here bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-06-07/putin-is-growing-organic-power-one-t-34-tank-tomato-at-a-time] Deep in the Caucasus, downriver from Europe’s highest peak, North Korean women roam Soviet-era hothouses growing what tycoon Vladimir Evtushenkov is betting will be his next big bounty: the T-34 battle tomato. The plump hybrids, named for the fearsome tank that […]

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The pitchforks are coming; Farm workers in the depths of southern Russia are hardly a protest constituency, but corruption and corporate raids have pushed them to the brink. They may even take their grievances to Moscow – by tractor.

Russia Regions Map

(opendemocracy.net – Svetlana Bolotnikova – April 7, 2016) Svetlana Bolotnikova is a Russian journalist and correspondent for KavPolit, an online publication specialising in political developments in the Caucasus. Aleksei Volchenko, 37, is a farmer in Kalininsky district, in the Kuban area of southern Russia. There are no large cities or towns here, just stanitsy, Cossack villages. Residents either work their […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Kremlin.ru – March 9, 2016) Mr Tkachev briefed the President on preparations for spring sowing campaign and the Ministry’s current work. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Tkachev, we are nearly in the middle of March. Thus, a natural question is how have we prepared for spring sowing campaign? It usually involves three components: funding, fuel and lubricants, and fertilisers. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Could sanctions spur Russia’s ascent to agricultural superpower? Since the end of the Soviet era, Russia’s agricultural industry has languished. But with sanctions now keeping European goods out of the Russian market, small domestic farmers are stepping up.” – Christian Science Monitor

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Russia to Ban Genetically Modified Organisms in Food Production

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 21, 2015) The Russian government will ban production of goods using genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted as saying Friday. “The question is complicated, but the decision was made: We are not going to produce any food products using genetically modified organisms,” Dvorkovich said at an agricultural forum, the […]

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Russians cheesed off as authorities destroy ‘EU’ food

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews- August 6, 2015) Nine tons of presumed EU-made cheese seized after entering Russia from Ukraine were bulldozed into the ground on August 6 as officials enforced Kremlin orders to destroy prohibited Western products, despite protests from citizens struggling with rising food prices. The first batch of hundreds of tons of food earmarked […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal/Ariel Cohen: How Russia Could Become a Food Superpower

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ariel Cohen addresses historical shifts in Russian agriculture, and what the future might hold. Russia could be a food superpower, given its vast soil and water resources. It still may become one, but the question is whether the food will be Western or Chinese. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian economy has […]

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Shadow Economy, Rural Self-Sufficiency Allowing Russia to Weather Sanctions, New Study Finds

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 31, 2015) Russia’s shadow economy and the self-sufficiency of Russians living outside of the major cities of the country “have allowed Russia to survive the crisis and the introduction of sanctions without large losses, according to five-year-long study of provincial society carried out by sociologists at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. […]

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Russia on track for poor harvest

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow, May 28, 2015) Russia is on course for a poor harvest after rains failed in key agricultural regions in the south. Following a record harvest in 2014, this year’s grain production could fall to levels last seen during the disastrous drought of 2010 – bad news for an economy already […]

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Russian Cabbage Prices Triple as Much-Loved Staple Falls Victim to Inflation

Red Cabbage and Green Cabbages, adapted from image at pnnl.org

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 27, 2015) The cost of a cabbage in Russia has almost tripled in less than six months. The Russian staple – and a key ingredient in traditional dishes such as the famous shchi soup – leads the field among foods suffering from inflation because of huge ruble devaluation in 2014 and […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia

Eurasia Map

[“American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia” – AP – James Ellingsworth – Apr. 1, 2015] AP examines the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia, such as increased prices for some farmers, instability in international projects, and evolving energy relations between Russia and China. The impact of sanctions, and a Russian embargo, on agriculture is apparently mixed. Russia’s ‘counter-sanctions’ ban on food imports […]

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Interfax: Russia’s grain harvest tops 105 million tons in 2014

Field of Grain file photo

(Interfax – January 8, 2014) Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov has reported a record grain harvest of 105.3 million tonnes collected in Russia in 2014. “According to updated reports, Russian agrarians produced 105.3 million tonnes [of grain] in what people call granary weight,” he said at a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The premier said the previous year “was rather […]

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The Battle for the Siberian harvest

Map of Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Georgy Borodyansky – November 28, 2014) Georgy Borodyansky is an Omsk-based correspondent for Novaya Gazeta. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save the harvest. But it won’t save them. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save […]

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Interfax: U.S. Department of Agriculture raises Russian grain harvest forecast to 102 mln tonnes

Field of Grain file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 1 (Interfax) – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service raised its forecast for Russia’s grain harvest in the current farm year (July 2014-June 2015) by 1 million tonnes to in November to 102 million tonnes. It raised its estimate for grain exports by 1.5 million tonnes of 29.5 million tonnes. The USDA boosted its forecast for […]

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Moscow’s Food War With West Could Hurt Russia Most

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL Explainer – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel – August 21, 2014) Moscow’s sweeping ban on food imports is meant as a slap in the face to Western powers for imposing sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. But the ban is also causing food prices to rise in Russia, which is a major importer of food and has few immediate supply alternatives. Here are four things to know […]

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Moscow Times: Putin’s Food Ban Splits EU on Wisdom of Russia Sanctions

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – August 18, 2014) The European Union’s united front on Russia sanctions seems to be buckling, as Eastern European countries hit hardest by Moscow’s retaliatory food import bans begin to question the wisdom of wrecking their economies in the name of a strategy that has seen the crisis in Ukraine only escalate. Hungarian […]

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Russian Farmers Will Need Years to Fill Gaps Left by Food Ban

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – August 15, 2014) Russian politicians have declared the recent bans on Western imports a golden opportunity for Russian agriculture – but farmers and economists warn that upping production is a question of years, not months, and closing the market will not be enough to solve its problems. Against a background of international […]

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