The controversial drive to eradicate the smuggled Western food is a continuation of the government order by President Vladimir Putin.
The ban was a response to economic sanctions enacted by the U.S. and its European allies over Russia’s attempts to exert its influence on neighboring Ukraine. In one case, over a hundred tons of illegal ham was simply fed into an incinerator, while in Smolensk, contraband tomatoes that got sauced. Some reports indicate that the process has already begun; the Guardian states that Yulia Melano, the spokesperson for the Russian food standards has revealed that 114kg of pork from Brazil has been seized and ground to make livestock feed.
One steamroller took an hour to crush nine tonnes of cheese.
The petition argues that destroying the goods results in a double whammy for Russia’s poor as not only do prices of food remain high, but the government must invest further funds in destroying imported food. The specter of Soviet-era bread lines does not seem to be rattling its chains quite loud enough.
Meanwhile, more than 153,000 people have signed a petition to withdraw the decree about the destruction of sanctioned food products. Last month, the Kremlin extended the ban for a year following the EU’s decision to prolong its sanctions through January.
Fears of western technology sending information to intelligence services is encouraging Russian Federation to consider banning hi-tech imports, but concerns include WTO fines – and ability to source local alternatives.
When Putin announced a recent decree requiring the destruction of all foreign food, Russians flocked to Twitter and Instagram, some of them saying they “could not live without cheese”, and posting pictures of their contraband.
But the EU has still had to help some producers. Many farmers have lauded the move, hoping to fill the niche previously held by imports.
A bulldozer destroys illegally imported cheese falling under restrictions in Belgorod region, Russia, August 6, 2015.
Courts in Belgium and France in June authorized the seizure of state-owned Russian property in those two countries – including Tass news agency offices and some Russian diplomats’ bank deposits – to contribute toward the settling of the shareholders’ claims. “We use basic food items, which are produced in Moscow region, and switch on our imagination and work with various additives”, said Elena Rakova, managing director of Jean-Jacques Cafe in Moscow.
Yukos was among Russia’s most lucrative energy giants until the government, early in President Vladimir Putin’s administration, accused founder and Chief Executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky of tax evasion.
In this photo taken on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, an employee puts…