First results of European sanctions: Russia introduces food rationing

The Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (FAS) offered to introduce support services to the indigent people in the view of food products import embargo from EU, US, Australia, Canada and Norway, informs the FAS after the Expert Council meeting on agricultural matters.Anna Mirochinenko, the Head of the Department of FAS for Control over Chemical Industry and Agro-Industrial Complex, explained that the rations card system will be introduced. This measure will not contradict the rules of World Trade Organization (WTO), to which Russia is a member since August 2012. This system belongs to the WTO “green box”. Contrary to “yellow” and “red” boxes, the “green box” allows domestic support because it does not distort agriculture, or at most causes minimal distortion.According to the WTO rules, the green box measures have to be government-funded, and not by charging consumers higher prices. Also they must not involve price support.The FAS plan to introduce ration cards to stimulate food market demand, using the right of WTO members to provide government-based financial support. The FAS anticipate that the demand among indigent people may lower in the view of price raising on food products due to the sanctions.Also the FAS encourages the processers to inform about all the cases of price raising on behalf of agricultural producers. “Your information can become a signal for control measures”, stressed Mirochinenko. For now the FAS is using the data from its hotlines about price raising complaints. 
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