Moscow's sweeping ban on food imports is meant as a slap in the face to Western powers for imposing sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. But the ban is also causing food prices to rise in Russia, which is a major importer of food and has few immediate supply alternatives.
Here are four things to know about Moscow's food war and its impact.
The Armenian government believes that Moscow’s August 7 ban on food imports from the West could offer its own weather-beaten agricultural sector a chance for a comeback. But some local analysts scoff at the notion.
Soccer's 2014 FIFA World Cup came to an exciting conclusion on July 13 with Germany's 1-0 victory over Argentina in extra time. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the final, sitting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Judging by the long line outside the Russian Embassy in Tashkent one recent afternoon, new Russian legislation offering citizenship to Russian-speakers is prompting lots of individuals in Uzbekistan to ponder emigration. Some see a chance to escape economic woes; others, stymied by Uzbekistan’s own Byzantine bureaucracy, want to seize on an opportunity to obtain a proper passport.
A new Russian law criminalizing the failure to declare foreign passports has raised fears of a fresh Kremlin crackdown on opponents at home, but Russian expatriates technically excluded from the statute are now scrambling to determine whether they must comply as well.
As it turns out, they may not be off the hook quite yet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation recently offering fast-track citizenship to Russian speakers anywhere within the former Soviet Union. Analysts believe the law is motivated by a desire to enhance Moscow’s influence in Ukraine and elsewhere, but it may have unintended consequences for the Kremlin in Central Asia.
With the Kremlin’s attention fixated on Ukraine, the Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist group fighting to establish an independent Islamic state in the North Caucasus, threatens to undermine Russian domestic security in new ways.