Russia Bans U.S. and EU Food Imports for a Year

Russia is forced to respond to the measures taken by Western countries, PM Medvedev says.

Fresh fruits and vegetablesAP

The Russian ban on all imports of meat, milk products, fish, fruits and vegetables from the United States, European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway goes into immediate effect and will last a year, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said.

He described sanctions as a "dead-end track," but said Russia was forced to respond to the measures taken by Western countries.

Medvedev said the year-long embargo will bolster domestic agriculture, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

Russia was also considering steps to close its airspace to flights by European and US airlines to and from the Asia-Pacific region, Medvedev told a cabinet meeting.