Russia bans meat, dairy, produce from US, Europe

Meat, milk and dairy products, fish, fruits and vegetables from the United States and the European Union are banned from Russia for one year, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

Russia announced a day earlier it would ban or limit food and agricultural goods imported from countries that have sanctioned Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

"Until the last moment, we hoped that our foreign colleagues would understand that sanctions lead to a deadlock and no one needs them," Medvedev said Thursday, according to The Associated Press. "But they didn't, and the situation now requires us to take retaliatory measures."

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Russia said it would instead import goods from Turkey, Latin America and former Soviet nations.

Medvedev said Russia is now considering banning Western airlines from flying over Russia to get to destinations in Asia.

He said he hopes his government’s sanctions will change the West’s foreign policy toward Russia. The ban could be lifted, he said, if the West demonstrates a “constructive approach.”

The White House said Wednesday, however, that Russia’s sanctions will only hurt its own economy.

"Retaliating against Western companies or countries will deepen Russia’s international isolation, causing further damage to its own economy," White House spokesman Shawn Turner said.

The retaliatory sanctions came about a week after President Obama, in coordination with the EU, announced much tougher sanctions that target Russia’s energy, financial and defense sectors.