France asks EU for help after Russia food ban

France asks EU for help after Russia food ban
French Camembert cheese. File photo: AFP
France has asked the European Commission to take "appropriate" measures to deal with the fallout from a Russian ban on food imports from Europe, the French presidency announced on Friday.

The request came as President Francois Hollande met with French food producers concerned about the impact of the ban.

Noting the "importance of European and French food exports to Russia," a statement from the French presidency said talks were underway with the European Commission so that the "consequences of the embargo are accurately assessed and measures appropriate to the situation are taken."

"Special attention will be paid to producers of fruits and vegetables, and farmers who are already facing difficulties in the market," the statement said.

It added that an approach to the World Trade Organization (WTO) should also be considered.

The embargo announced by Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev came in retaliation against US and European sanctions over Russia's alleged role in separatist violence in the eastern Ukraine.

Medvedev said the Russian embargo will bar imports of meats, fruits and vegetables, fish, and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway, for a period of a year. Only baby food was exempted.

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