Russia's agriculture minister says the country will have to spend billions of dollars in the coming years to ensure it has ample food supplies after banning a wide range of Western imports.
Nikolai Fyodorov's comments on August 20 suggest the ban imposed in retaliation against Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis will be costly, RFE/RL reports.
Fyodorov told state-run Rossia-24 television that Russia would have to spend the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars in "urgent" funding this year to fully replace banned products. He said in the coming years, billions of dollars in farm subsidies would be required.
In retaliation against Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 7 signed a decree banning or limiting imports of food and agricultural products from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia.