Putin’s Food Bans Make Russians Taste Higher Prices

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 25 2014 3:08 PM

You Say Potato, Russians Say 72 Percent More Expensive Potato

103862645-russias-president-dmitry-medvedev-digs-for-potatoes-as
Dmitry Medvedev (left) digs for potatoes.

Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, the Russian government banned food from those countries that sanctioned Russia over its actions in Ukraine. At the time, Russians spoke out in support of the bans, and Vladimir Putin’s approval rating soared to 87 percent according to a poll released on Aug. 7, the day the food bans on produce, meat, and dairy from the EU, the U.S., Australia, Norway, and Canada were put in place.

Now, however, the bans have forced a dramatic increase of Russian food prices. According to Statista, the price of potatoes has gone up 72.7 percent since Jan. 1. Chicken and pork prices have increased 25.8 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively. Overall, food in Russia has become 10 percent more expensive. (Of course, the impact isn't only on Russians—the food ban means, for example, that Polish apple growers will likely not be able to reap the profits of their harvest.)

Advertisement

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, when announcing the bans, said that they would be in effect for one year, adding, "There's nothing good about sanctions, I've already said that many times, and this retaliation wasn't easy for us. … We were forced into it, but even under these conditions, we're sure we'll be able to turn things to our benefit."

Meanwhile, in response to the closure of four McDonald’s branches in Moscow last week—a move ostensibly made for health reasons but widely recognized as another strike against Western powers—Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has promised that McDonald’s will not be banned outright. Maybe Russia could go so far as to deprive its citizens of fast food in response to sanctions, but as Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman put it, “Hitting your own people doesn't make any sense.”

Emily Tamkin is an M.Phil. candidate in Russian and East European studies at Oxford. Follow her on Twitter.  

TODAY IN SLATE

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.