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Some 20m Russians live below the poverty line. But – adhering unbendingly to its sanctions – the Russian government has been destroying imported food that originated in EU countries. Last August, you may recall, Russia imposed a ban on a range of food stuffs from the EU. Unsurprisingly, EU produce exports to Belarus rose 141%, while to Kazakhstan they rose 108% in the following six months. When that loophole was closed early this year, re-exporters falsified the country of origin on the shipments. So 73 tonnes of peaches, purporting to be from Turkey, have been destroyed recently, along with 20 tons of German cheese – and thousands of kilos of other foods.

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