Russia bans Western food imports for a year

Russia will ban fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday.

The decision follows a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin ordering the government to ban or limit food imports from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow for its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

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"There is nothing good in sanctions and it wasn't an easy decision to take, but we had to do it," Medvedev said.

The ban is valid from Aug. 7 and will last for one year, he said.

See the list of banned products here

Moscow was also considering banning transit flights by airlines from the European Union and the United States to the Asia-Pacific region.

Medvedev said a final decision on whether to ban the flights by EU and U.S. airlines had not been taken but said Russia had decided to ban transit flights for Ukrainian airlines via its territory.

Low-cost Russian airline Dobrolyot stopped flying recently after being sanctioned by the European Union.

—By Reuters. Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld