MOSCOW, August 15 (RIA Novosti) — The European Union expects developing nations and EU candidate countries to refrain from pursuing new trade opportunities which have emerged after Russia implemented its ban on agriculture imports from the EU, the union’s foreign ministers said in a joint statement Friday.
The ministers reiterated that "the grounds for the imposition of restrictive measures against the Russian Federation remain valid."
"In order to ensure the unity of the international community and to uphold international law, the European Union expects developing nations and candidate countries to refrain from measures which are aimed at exploiting new trading opportunities arising from the introduction of these measures," the statement reads.
"The Council, together with the Commission and the HR/VP, remains engaged in the monitoring and assessment of these measures and remains ready to consider further steps, in light of the evolution of the situation on the ground."
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on economic measures to protect the country’s security. The decree implemented a one year ban on imports of agricultural and food products from the countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia. The list includes meat, poultry and milk products as well as fruits and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. The embargo does not include infant foods and goods.
Russia is currently negotiating substitutions for the restricted goods by importing from other countries, to include South America.
As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, the United States pressed for its Western allies to follow its lead. Switzerland, Canada, Australia and Japan soon followed the Washington’s lead and drew up their own sanctions soon after.