Russia’s ban on food imports from the European Union, the United States and other countries will give a chance to domestic agricultural producers.

Igor Nikolayev, director of the Institute of Strategic Analysis of the FBK Company, told a roundtable meeting last Friday that there would be no empty shelves in Russia because of anti-Western sanctions. The share of imports from countries that have fallen under Russian sanctions is as follows: no more than 30% of cheese; 14.7% of vegetables and fruit and 13.3% of fish.

Dmitry Sazonov, the head of the Russian Civic Chamber commission for development of small and medium business, assumed that a ban on food imports from the United States and Europe would give a chance to Russian small and medium enterprises to enter the market. Sazonov said that logistics was the bottleneck of the Russian agro-industrial complex and that Russia would be fully provided with food if the logistics problems were solved.

Yakov Lyubovedsky, director of the Union of Organic Agriculture, said it was important that Russian products replace foreign imports.

“It won’t make much difference if Belgian tomatoes are substituted by Indian tomatoes. It is important that Russian producers occupy this niche,” Lyubovedsky stressed.

An embargo is “a big boost to Russian producers”, according to Sergei Lupekhin, the head of the Russian Potatoes Union.

“We have a chance to establish good relations with trade chains,” Lupekhin said, expressing concern that western food could enter Russia through the borders of other Customs Union states.