(Adds details on trade relationship, embargo)
By Robin Emmott
BRUSSELS, Sept 3 Russia's ban on imports of food
from Europe, part of its response to EU sanctions imposed over
the Ukraine crisis, could cost the European Union 5 billion
euros ($6.6 billion) a year, according to an internal EU
document seen by Reuters.
Russia, which is the EU's second biggest food market after
the United States, decreed the one-year ban on Aug. 6. on
European fruits and vegetables, dairy products and meat,
accounting for almost half of the bloc's food exports to Russia.
Big fruit and vegetable exporters such as Poland and the
Netherlands are already feeling the impact of the embargo and
the European Commission, the EU executive, is seeking ways to
compensate farmers or find new markets for the food.
Germany, which has led the EU's decision to impose sanctions
on Russia, is also suffering as one of the bloc's main meat and
"The overall temporary restrictions currently applied by
Russia potentially jeopardise 5 billion euros worth of trade,"
said the document, which was presented to European Commissioners
in Brussels on Wednesday.
The EU's total food exports to Russia were worth 11.8
billion euros last year and the products covered by the Russian
ban represented 5.1 billion euros in exports in 2013, the
The Commission document followed a product-by-product
analysis of the impact of the embargo. While it may also hurt
Russian consumers, it is also another setback for the euro
zone's stagnant economy that is trying to avoid another
EU agriculture ministers will meet in Brussels on Friday to
discuss their response to the embargo that Russia announced in
"The possibility of well-targeted compensations should be
further discussed with member states and with the European
Parliament," the document said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Ralph Boulton)