Russian customers buy cheese in Saint Petersburg on August 7, 2014.AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA
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Moscow banned imports of most food from the West Thursday in retaliation against sanctions over Ukraine, a stronger than expected measure that isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since Soviet days.Russian share prices fell after the announcement of Moscow's one year ban on all meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28 European Union countries, Canada, Australia and non-EU member Norway.Putin had promised to ensure that the measures would not hurt Russian consumers, which suggested he might exclude some popular products.The EU's executive Commission said it reserved the right to take action to retaliate against the Russian ban.Russia spent $25.5 billion last year on imports in the affected categories, $9.2 billion of it from the countries hit by the ban.Russia bought 28 percent of EU fruit exports and 21.5 percent of its vegetables in 2011 .The rebels in Ukraine are led mainly by Russian citizens and armed with tanks, artillery and other heavy weapons that Kiev and its Western allies say can only have come from Russia.
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