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Blessed are the cheese exporters

Apparently, there is a tremendous run on high quality cheese going on in Moscow. This wonderful range of delectable products is vanishing rapidly from supermarket shelves as customers stock up before the sanctions that Russia is imposing on Russia come into force.

25 comments to Blessed are the cheese exporters

  • #2 son runs a grocery auxiliary for the American Embassy in Moscow. We expect that his foreign supplies will dry up in short order.

  • Mr Ed

    That’s something for Putin to whey up, the impact of a cheese shortage.

    I suppose they could always get Glen Medeiros to do a concert tour of Russia if they really need foreign cheese.

  • Richard Thomas

    I hope that Russia can come to some sort of understanding with Russia before it gets too nasty.

  • If they want to hit France harder wines could be next.

  • Sam Duncan

    “the sanctions that Russia is imposing on Russia”


  • RAB

    Load up the van with Wensleydale Grommit, we’re heading for Moscow…

  • Wow. That’s just monumentally stupid.

  • Mr Ed

    Is this banning of food imports an old Chekist’s nostalgia for the Terror Famines in the Ukraine and Kazhakstan in the 1930s?

  • […] a Samizdata comment comes this link: Russia hits West with food import ban in sanctions row. President Vladimir Putin […]

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    Mr Ed: Could be. I was thinking it was more nostalgia for the Brezhnev era, myself.

  • RAB,
    Fancy the Cheese racket then. I fancy knickers. Seriously. A while back Poot decreed that all Russian underwear must be at least 60% Russian cotton. The “Granny Pants Declaration”. There were protests and presumably the bottom fell out of the lap-dancing market.

    If Poots goes much further I can see rope and lamp posts figuring in his future and I’m not even Mystic Meg.

  • Mr Ed

    Could be. I was thinking it was more nostalgia for the Brezhnev era, myself.

    Well he could make Gordon Brown Russian Prime Minister, I suppose.

  • Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    Edam it all! How dairy they get cheesed off! (Someone had to say it!)

  • Bruce Hoult

    It’s been noted here in New Zealand that Russia hasn’t banned us. We normally make up about 50% of Russia’s dairy imports.

    Our Prime Minister was asked about this today. He said under NZ law the government doesn’t have any power to tell private companies who they may or may not sell products to.

  • Midwesterner

    Two possible rational explanations come to mind. One, Russian leadership is planning on doing something they presume will invoke harsh sanctions so they are preconditioning their economy to continue uninterrupted. The other is that Russian leadership is expecting something will disrupt the world food distribution network and they don’t want to be dependent on it when it fails. Arguing against the second explanation is that apparently Russia is still allowing food trade with New Zealand. Perhaps New Zealand’s legal inability to ban ag exports supports the first explanation.

  • Stonyground

    Don’t they have dairy cows in Russia? The communist era ended about thirty years ago and still nobody knows how to make cheese?
    Doesn’t anyone know how to Google?


  • Michael Jennings (London)

    Making cheese is easy. Making really good cheese requires much more skill and experience, and most (but not all) of the best cheeses come from France, Britain, and Italy. The Russians aren’t going to starve, but they are depriving themselves of the good stuff.

  • Mr Ed

    Can Mr Snowden last 3 more years in Russia, with no cheese? Surely that will grate with him?

  • JohnK

    For Putin’s next trick he will hold his breath until the west says sorry.

    I seriously think we overestimate this man. He is a sly, devious, amoral Chekist. People like him have their uses, no doubt, so long as they are kept under strict political control. Under no circumstances should they be allowed to actually have political control of the state. Even under the USSR, Chekists were kept under strict party control, and Cheka leaders such as Yazhov, Yagoda and Beria were terminated with extreme prejudice when they had served their purpose.

    Putin is not a clever man, he is not a decent man, and he will not lead Russia to a good place. That is Russia’s problem, and they have my sympathy. Our problem is to try and stop him fucking up the rest of the world as he is surely going to fuck up Russia, until such time as the palace guard serve him an oddly tasting cup of tea.

  • Making cheese is easy.

    So is painting road markings and maintaining traffic lights, but that in itself does not mean that Russians can manage it.

  • I find Mid’s comment interesting.

  • CaptDMO

    It has been rumored (see: Assume=ASS-U-ME) that the White House (and other “instrumental folks)had an astonishing supply of Cuban Cigars
    stocked up, JUST before the US/Communist Cuba trade embargo.

  • […] sanctions over its behaviour in Ukraine by banning imports of stuff Russians like to eat.  Other blogs have covered the story well in terms of its stupidity and likely impact, but I’d like to […]

  • Mr Ed

    The Swiss, it seems, are not poised to Rush In to the newly uncompetitive export market that has arisen. Note the incredulity in the article that the Swiss are not in the EU.


    If fears of a cheese shortage are baseless, these Russian singers aren’t. Caution Foghorn voices that might scare small children.

  • To be fair, Swiss agriculture is so heavily subsidised that it makes French agriculture look like a bastion of free market liberalism. If the Swiss were to expand it further to make more exports to Russia, that would make them poorer, not richer.

    I see that places like Argentina do seem to be attempting to sell things to Russia in response to recent developments. I wish them luck with it, honestly, and this might be good for Russian consumers from the perspective that Argentina does, at least, produce some decent cheeses.

    On the other hand, doing business with Russia is likely to be a nightmare. Just like doing business with Argentina. Possibly they deserve each other.