Russia to extend Western food ban for further 18 months

The Russian prime minister has proposed to extend a ban on Western food imports for another 18 months in response to the EU's decision to extend economic sanctions against Moscow.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday he will submit a proposal to extend the ban until Dec. 31, 2018 to President Vladimir Putin. Medvedev said the ban will help create incentives for Russian farmers.

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Moscow has warned it would only lift the ban introduced in 2014 if the U.S. and the EU roll back the sanctions they imposed following Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

Medvedev's statement followed the EU's announcement Wednesday to extend the sanctions against Russia by six months over Russia's failure to honor a peace deal for eastern Ukraine.