Counter-sanctions imposed on European agricultural products over the conflict in Ukraine have spurred investment in Russia's agriculture industry. Diane Hodges reports.
Strawberry farmers in Russia have become the unintended benefactors of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia banned imports of European produce after Europe imposed economic sanctions on Russia because of the conflict. Farmers in the western Russian enclave of Kaliningrad suddenly had buyers clamoring for their products. Growers realized the time was ripe for new investment. Shopkeepers, like Natalia, say the amount of local produce quickly swelled. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SALESPERSON AT KALININ GRAD MARKET, NATALIA, SAYING: "The producers have started building greenhouses. In just over one year I have gone from four local suppliers to eight." But shoppers complain the expansion hasn't been enough to fill local market baskets. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) LOCAL RESIDENT, MARINA, SAYING: "There are no potatoes, nothing. I ask: what is that related to? And the saleswoman says: sanctions. Nothing is delivered." Russian officials say they'll continue their ban of European products as long as the western sanctions against Russia remain in place. So Russian growers can expect shoppers to continue lining up to buy their produce.