WASHINGTON – The White House says Russia's reported move to ban agricultural imports from the U.S. will only deepen Russia's isolation from the international community.
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White House spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson says retaliating against Western companies or countries over sanctions the U.S. has imposed will cause further damage to Russia's economy. She's pointing out that Russia's central bank has said banning imported food would boost inflation and erode Russian citizens' purchasing power.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti is quoting a Russian official as saying all agricultural products produced in the U.S. won't be allowed into Russia. According to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. exporters shipped $1.3 billion worth of food and agricultural products in 2013.
Magnuson says the U.S. is calling on Russia once again to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.