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EU To Aid Vegetable And Fruit Growers Hit By Russian Ban

The European Union will provide $170 million in aid to farmers affected by a Russian ban on fruit and vegetable imports from the EU.

The European Commission said on August 18 that the aid would help farmers who grow tomatoes, carrots, white cabbage, peppers, cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, apples, pears, berries, grapes, and kiwis.

Russia in early August banned imports of fruit and vegetables and some other foods from the EU and other Western countries.

The sanctions are retaliation for Western sanctions imposed against Russia over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its alleged support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

In recent years, EU countries have annually exported vegetables and fruits to Russia worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The European Commission says Russia bought 28 percent of the EU's fruit exports and more than 21 percent of its vegetable exports in 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and ITAR-TASS