Foreign Minister Brende: ‘Regrettable Russian import ban’

‘Russia’s import ban is completely unreasonable. The fact that Russia is implementing these measures shows how important it is that we stand together with our allies and partners in responding to Russia’s destabilisation of Ukraine. I agree with the EU’s assessment that the trade restrictions are politically motivated,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

'Russia’s import ban is completely unreasonable. The fact that Russia is implementing these measures shows how important it is that we stand together with our allies and partners in responding to Russia’s destabilisation of Ukraine. I agree with the EU’s assessment that the trade restrictions are politically motivated,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Russia announced today that it will ban imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products from the EU countries, the US, Canada, Australia and Norway. 

‘We are taking the news of the Russian trade restrictions seriously, but it is too early to say what the consequences will be for Norwegian companies. We are now examining the measures together with the EU and other affected parties, and we will jointly consider how we can best deal with the situation,’ said Mr Brende.

Despite strong international pressure, not least since the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines passenger flight MH17, which resulted in the deaths of 298 people, Russia has so far made no attempt to help disarm the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. As of 1 August, the EU introduced new and more stringent restrictive measures against Russia, in response to Russia’s continued illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Ukraine.

‘Rather than seeking to deescalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia is maintaining and fuelling the conflict. Significant quantities of weapons continue to flow across the border from Russia into Ukraine. It is crucial that Russia is met with a clear and unified response from the international community. Given the important foreign and security policy considerations involved, it is natural for Norway to stand together with its partners and allies,’ said Mr Brende.

As previously announced, the Norwegian Government intends to align itself with the new EU restrictive measures, once it has consulted the Storting (Norwegian parliament).