Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev supports the initiative of the federal customs service to introduce criminal responsibility for illegal import of sanctioned products and agricultural goods.
"Why now? This is an international practice," he said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television channel on Sunday. "Everywhere smugglers are treated very strictly. Once breaching rules would mean way to a country will be blocked for decades. This means financial losses, criminal responsibility and ruined business. Here we protect interests of our people."
Earlier, the federal customs service said the administrative punishment for smuggling in sanctioned goods was not efficient. The service suggested introducing criminal responsibility for smuggling, as despite the sanctions the service has been revealing attempts to smuggle in products from certain countries.
If a draft order is approved, new regulations may come into force from March, 2016.