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Russia To Ban All Food Imports From Ukraine

Russia has announced it will ban all food imports from Ukraine starting on January 1.

Russian Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev told TV channel Rossia-24 on November 18 that Russia was taking the action "because Ukraine has joined the sanctions against the Russian Federation -- economic and financial."

Russia has been slapped with Western sanctions for annexing Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula and supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

More than 7,900 people have died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, according to UN estimates.

Moscow, which denies any role in the conflict, has already imposed its own food bans on the EU, the United States, and other Western countries.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the pending Russian action will cost Ukraine's economy some $600 million in 2016.

On the other hand, Yatsenyuk noted the Ukrainian economy was now less dependent on Russia.

"While earlier our dependence was 35 percent, now it's at the level of 12.5 percent," Yatsenyuk said on November 18, according to a statement on his cabinet's website.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

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