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Russian restaurateurs bracing for Soviet-style shortages amid food import ban

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Financial Post | Business

MOSCOW — Moscow’s sweeping sanctions on European food have sent Russian restaurateurs, retail chains and food producers scrambling for alternative supplies and bracing for Soviet-style shortages.

The tit for tat trade restrictions — a response to U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Russia’s actions in Ukraine — have hurt farmers in the West for whom Russia is by far the biggest buyer of EU produce.

But they will also hit consumers at home, isolating them from world trade to a degree unseen for more than two decades.

Creamy French cheeses, Australian Ribeye steak and seafood risottos are heading off the menu at restaurants after the ban on imports of all fish, meat and dairy produce.

“Prices will go up and certain food stuff will disappear,” said Alexei Paperny, whose mid-priced Moscow cafe the Children of Paradise — named after a classic French film — was still packed on Friday evening.

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