RUSSIALINK RBTH/Vzglyad: “Food import substitution turns out to be extremely profitable”

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

“Russia has saved $4 billion since it began substituting imported products in response to the imposition of food embargoes by the U.S. and EU, the Agriculture Ministry says. But is this enough to encourage the future growth of production?”

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Russians can no longer afford to pinch pennies on food”

Cash, Calculator, Pen

If incomes continue to drop, however, Russians won’t be able to cut their food budgets and still adequately feed themselves. Any further cuts could mean risking malnutrition. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – IGOR ROZIN, RBTH – Feb. 6, 2017) Consumers are not willing to further cut food spending even if their financial situation continues to deteriorate. Grocery spending […]

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NEWSWATCH: “McDonald’s to Open at Least 50 New Restaurants in Russia in 2017” – Reuters

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

McDonald’s plans to open more than 50 restaurants in Russia this year and hopes to sign more franchising deals to expand in existing and new regions, the local unit’s chief executive said on Tuesday. The fast-food chain opened 73 restaurants in Russia last year, exceeding its forecast. Of the newly-opened restaurants, 65 are company-owned, Khamzat Khasbulatov, head of McDonald’s Russia, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “China Goes Food Shopping-to Russia; ‘Everything that can be consumed by a human being in China is something they’re interested in,’ Russian official says” – Wall Street Journal/AMIE FERRIS-ROTMAN/Liyan Qi

Asia Map

China bought more than $1 billion in food products from Russia last year, replacing Turkey as the top importer of Russian foodstuffs. … central to Russia’s economic and political pivot toward Asia, as the Russian economy continues to suffer under Western sanctions and the low price of oil, and U.S.-Russian relations deteriorate …. Russia and China … describe current relations […]

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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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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Village Resists Privatization Effort Championed by Putin. Locals, activists and lawmakers rally to prevent sale of century-old state-owned dairy plant.” – Wall Street Journal

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

The Russian government’s privatization drive soured in a village called Milk. The dairy plant here that for more than a century has churned out Russia’s most-recognizable brand of butter was scheduled to be auctioned in mid-February, the latest target to raise cash for the budget. But after locals, activists and lawmakers held rallies and petitioned President Vladimir Putin and other […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Putin’s Embargo Is Reshaping Russia’s Cuisine. Putin’s embargo is changing the way Russians dine out, and chef Vladimir Mukhin is taking the opportunity to transfigure the country’s cuisine. 16. The Economist: Russia and sanctions. Toe in the water. Why is Russia tapping international debt markets?” – Wall Street Journal

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Russia identifies economic backwardness as national security threat

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – January 19, 2016) Russia’s new national security strategy identifies the key threats to the country. The main threats to national security in the economic sphere are the low competitiveness of the Russian economy and its continuing dependence on raw material exports, Sergey Vakhrukov, aide to the secretary of the Russian Security Council, told journalists on 19 January, as […]

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What’s so Russian about Russian food?

File Photo of Russian Food and Nesting Dolls

Blogger offers cultural insights to the country’s cuisine. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEKSANDRA EFIMOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 12, 2016) [Photos here rbth.com/blogs/leadership._inspiration._achievement/2016/01/12/whats-so-russian-about-russian-food_558755] On a recent trip to Russia, I picked up three cookbooks dating back to the 1800s that were originally written for housewives of that time. Although updated for the modern cook, these books […]

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Sanctions, Khachapuri, Burgers – Moscow’s Year in Food

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrei Muchnik – January 6, 2016) Despite the various sanctions, counter-sanctions, inflation and other economic and gastronomic woes, 2015 was a pretty good year for food lovers in Moscow. With all those economic problems, it’s no wonder that cheap but good fast food emerged as the main trend of the year. Georgian cuisine, previously associated […]

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Russians Turn to Bartering in Economic Recession

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – December 2, 2015) An economic recession and soaring grocery prices have prompted Russians to go online to trade household items for food, with scores of websites facilitating a barter system cropping up around the country. Russia’s main social network, VKontakte, has an array of online groups, targeting various cities, where local inhabitants […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: “Russia Takes Aim at Turkish Economy Amid Fighter-Jet Spat. Turkish officials reject Vladimir Putin’s call for an apology.”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The Wall Street Journal covers Russia’s response to Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian military jet. Russia has reacted with fury to the incident and vowed to retaliate by clamping down on trade and business ties. … Turkish President … Erdogan dismissed Mr. Putin’s demands that Ankara apologize or offer compensation …. Turkey has provided evidence that it gave repeated warnings […]

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A Cookbook to Rehabilitate Soviet Cuisine

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michele A. Berdy – October 29, 2015) If you think of the Soviet period in Russia as a culinary desert, a new book in English by the country’s most prominent food historians, Olga and Pavel Syutkin, may change your mind. “CCCP Cook Book: True Stories of Soviet Cuisine” was commissioned especially for an English-speaking audience […]

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Russia Plans $3.6 Billion Food Stamp Program as Poverty Rises

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 25, 2015) The Russian government may spend 240 billion rubles ($3.6 billion) on a national food stamp program to support an estimated 15-16 million Russian citizens whose poverty has deepened amid an economic slump, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday. To deal with an economic shock that has spurred inflation into double digits […]

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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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Interfax: Embargoed food destruction backed by 42% of Russians, 38% against

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) – Most Russians (83%) are aware of the destruction of embargoed food smuggled into Russia from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway, the Public Opinion Foundation has said. Russians have mixed feelings about the decision made by the authorities: 42% say the embargoed food needs to be destroyed, and 38% claim the […]

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Poll: Banned food better be given to needy, orphans

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Interfax – August 13, 2015) Forty percent of Russians have backed the authorities’ decision to destroy embargoed food, while the number of opponents is a bit higher (48 percent), the Levada Center has told Interfax on Aug. 13. In the opinion of the respondents, the food would better be given to orphanages, homeless shelters or hospitals (43 percent) or be […]

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VIDEO: Conversation: Russia’s Perfect Economic Storm

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Stratfor.com – August 11, 2015) Video Transcript: Ben Sheen: Hello and thank you for joining us. My name is Ben Sheen, I’m a managing editor here at Stratfor, and with me today is Stratfor’s senior Eurasia analyst, Lauren Goodrich, who will be talking to me about the state of the Russian economy. So Lauren, Russia is struggling at the moment. […]

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RIA Novosti: Food spending taking up most of Russian household budgets – poll

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(RIA Novosti – August 11, 2015) Food items are becoming the largest part of the household budget, particularly meat and chicken, according to a poll commissioned for the Bank of Russia by the Infom company, RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) reported on 11 August. “The main items Russians are cutting back on are groceries, […]

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Russians split over destruction of banned food imports

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

Russian is to destroy confiscated Western food products that fall under the Russian embargo at the border starting from August 6. According to the presidential decree, embargoed foods will be destroyed both at the border and after being seized from stores. However, some observers are calling on the government not to destroy the products, but give them to the needy. […]

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Russian Food Prices Stabilize After Months of Racing Inflation

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – August 3, 2015) After a year of skyrocketing food prices that have forced many Russians to spend less on what they eat, the cost of many categories of food has finally begun to stabilize or fall, official data show. Food price inflation has been one of the harshest consequences for ordinary Russians […]

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Interfax: Russia proves it can feed itself – Medvedev

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

ROSTOV-ON-DON. June 5 (Interfax) – Over the ten months after it introduced the embargo on food from the European Union, Russia has proved that it can feed itself on its own, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “The past ten months, from the moment the special economic measures were introduced, have shown or proved, if you will, the main thing: […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Russia’s Beloved Borscht Reveals Reality of Inflation. Retired Siberian journalist tracks ingredients to document the country’s soaring food prices

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

Russia had its most severe year-over-year monthly inflation in 13 years in March, the result of a plunge in crude oil prices, a devalued ruble and the Kremlin’s ban on an array of Western food imports imposed in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine. Overall, inflation climbed to 16.9% compared with a year earlier, according to the state statistics service, pinching […]

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“Croneyburger please, easy on the austerity”: Inside Russia’s fast-food farce

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nick Allen in Berlin – April 13, 2015) The trademark meat dish could perhaps be called “The director’s cut”: Two prolific Russian film directors recently sought a $19mn state credit from President Vladimir Putin to launch an unlikely new national fast-food chain as a counterweight to McDonald’s and other foreign operators. And they got […]

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Millions of Russians Edge Toward Poverty as Economic Pressure Mounts

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 13, 2015) Clutching two plastic bags full of clothes she had just collected from a charity center in central Moscow, Svetlana Burkutskaya said that rising prices were making it harder for her to find enough money to put food on the table for her three school-age children. “There is not sufficient […]

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How to Become a Russian Billionaire With No Help from the Kremlin

Krasnodar and Road

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 20, 2014) It’s a hot day in Krasnodar, deep in southern Russia. The action is hot on the soccer field, too. Ari, the local club’s Brazilian striker, takes a pass from the left flank and scores a beautiful goal. Ari (full name Ariclenes da Silva Ferreira) then wheels away in celebration to […]

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Unnecessary Sacrifice

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Alexander Podrabinek – November 24, 2014) Prominent Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist. His articles appeared in Novaya Gazeta, Ezhenedelny Journal (Ej.Ru), Grani.Ru, et al. He is a regular guest at Ekho Moskvy radio station. Podrabinek is also a well-known Soviet dissident and former political prisoner. In 1977, he published a book […]

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Interfax: Muscovites say food embargo doesn’t hamper food quality or assortment – poll

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – October 7, 2014) Food quality and assortments have not changed amid Russia’s retaliatory “food embargo” but prices have gone up, Muscovites told the Public Opinion Foundation. Two-thirds (66 percent) of 1,000 Muscovites polled over the phone on September 28 approved of the ban on food imports from a number of Western countries, 21 percent criticized that step and […]

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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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Fewer Russians Worry About Inflation Despite Predictions of Higher Food Prices

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 13, 2014) Fewer Russians are concerned about inflation than they were a month ago, a new poll published Tuesday showed, even as analysts warned recession was inevitable and that a ban on many foreign food items would push up prices for consumers. The state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center found that between June and […]

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RIA Novosti: No Grounds for Food Price Hikes in Russia – Deputy Prime Minister

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Wednesday that a possible food shortage and a resulting imbalance in food prices that could occur in the country’s westernmost exclave could easily be compensated by Belarus. “There is a case in particular [of price imbalance] and that’s the Kaliningrad region, which is extremely close to Belarus, […]

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Russian Foodies React To Import Ban With Patriotism, Some Gloom

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL  – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, August 7, 2014) Moscow’s upmarket food shoppers are reacting variously with patriotic approval and gloomy resignation at the prospect of going without some of their favorite foreign foods for a year. The Russian government on August 7 approved a lengthy shopping list of foods and produce that cannot be imported from countries that have imposed […]

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Moscow Times: Putin’s Rating Immune to Food Ban for Now

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 8, 2014) While the ban on many food imports imposed by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday has sparked fears of Soviet-era shortages among some sections of Russian society, political analysts told The Moscow Times that it will have little effect on the level of support for the government among the public. […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia’s Food Embargo ‘Smart’ Response to Western Sanctions – U.S. Economist

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

WASHINGTON, August 7 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – Russia’s food embargo is a smart move on Moscow’s part that is set to show the United States and its allies that Russia is not going to give in to Western pressure, an American economist and co-director of a US-based research center told RIA Novosti Thursday. “It is smart of Moscow to […]

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Most Russians Support McDonald’s Closures, Poll Says

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 15, 2014) Liberal Democrat Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s call to close all McDonald’s restaurants in Russia received a lot of media attention, and a recent poll shows that most Russians would be glad to see the back of the fast food chain. Sixty-two percent of respondents support the closure of all McDonald’s in Russia, […]

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Maslenitsa Weekend in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katerina Azarova – February 28, 2014) Sunshine and pancakes: If you ask me, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s what Moscow is all about this week, because it’s Maslenitsa time! The delicious, gluttonous week of sweet and savory pancakes before Lent is finally upon us, and you should definitely take advantage of all […]

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WTO policy on GMO food fuels fears in Russia

Field of Grain file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, special to RBTH – June 5, 2013) With GMO products paving their way into Russia, people become concerned with the trend. While some support GMO products, others express their doubts. Russia is gradually starting to fulfil its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). One of these obligations […]

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Big Mac Fights Subway Shrimp in Russia Fast-Food Fracas

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – March 17, 2013) More than two decades after McDonald’s Corp. (MCD)’s outlet on Moscow’s Pushkin Square began offering a golden-arched alternative to grey communist eateries, the fast-food pioneer is on the defensive. McDonald’s, which virtually created the market for burgers and fries in the country and convinced Russians it’s okay to eat with […]

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Central Bank: Russians spend large portion of income on food

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – February 6, 2013) The share of food and beverages (including alcohol) in the consumer basket of Russians is one of the highest in the world, said the Central Bank. That share is 37.7% in Russia, versus 23.1% in Brazil, 21.6% in South Africa, 19.1% in Japan, 5.3% in the USA and 13.5% in Germany. In India, the share […]

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