Russians might soon find themselves missing Scotch whisky and French cheese. But especially the whisky. A new decree signed by Vladimir Putin bans the import of agricultural products from the countries which had earlier imposed economic sanctions on Russia. The decree, published on the Kremlin website today, will last for a year, prohibiting foods and beverages from European Union countries and the United States in retaliation for their attempts to pressure Russia on its role in the Ukrainian conflict.
The exact list of banned goods is still in the works – the only thing we know for sure is that baby food and wine won't be on it, according to Dmitry Medvedev's press secretary Natalya Timakova. Other officials have said the list will definitely include fruit, vegetables, meat products, cheese and dairy.
Russian internet users went ballistic at the news of the ban, but expressed the greatest concern about access to Western booze.
А ЧТО С БУХЛОМ-ТО БУДЕТ БРАТЦЫ?
— Ivan Kolpakov (@kolpakov) August 6, 2014
WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN TO THE BOOZE, BROS?
Пожалуй, схожу сегодня, попрощаюсь с виски
— ivan davydov (@ivan_f_davydov) August 6, 2014
I guess I'll go and say goodbye to whisky today.
-Папа, водка подорожала. Ты теперь станешь меньше пить? -Нет, сынок, это ты станешь меньше есть.
— Andrey Mima (@amima) August 6, 2014
- Dad, vodka has become more expensive. Are you going to drink less?
- No, son, you're going to eat less.
НУ ХОТЬ ПОХУДЕЮ!
— Надежда Astel (@astel_) August 6, 2014
AT LEAST I'LL LOSE WEIGHT!
The outpouring of feelings about the food and drink ban was mostly humorous, as users found increasingly elaborate ways to make fun of Putin's retaliatory tactics and their consequences. Denis Chuzhoy wondered what the ban would mean for foodies on Instagram:
Шёл 2015 год. Российские инстаграмы опустели…
— Денис Чужой (@fe_city_boy) August 6, 2014
As 2015 rolls by, Russian Instagram accounts are empty…
- Ты где был на выходных? - В Минске, обедал.
— Wylsacom (@wylsacom) August 6, 2014
- Where were you over the weekend?
- In Minsk, went for lunch.
А еще я медиа-стартап придумал: я тут в Риге буду покупать разную еду, есть ее, и рассказывать вам какая она.
— Roman Volobuev (@romanvolobuev) August 6, 2014
Oh, and I came up with a media startup: I will buy all kinds of food here in Riga, eat it, and tell you what it tastes like.
For many users, the news immediately brought to mind memories of Soviet deficits and long lines in empty shops, which many of the 30-somethings in Russia experienced as children. Maxim magazine reimagined what that could look like today:
— MAXIM Online (@ru_maximonline) August 6, 2014
Coming this fall to Russian stores. (captions in image: “Is your Belorussian ribeye fresh?” “Have they put out any jamon?”)
Вообще-то Кремль уже когда-то назло Западу запрещал все иностранные продукты и выглядело это так: pic.twitter.com/ABJtMdiVYh
— Roman Dobrokhotov (@Dobrokhotov) August 5, 2014
Actually, the Kremlin has already banned foreign goods to spite the West, and this is what it looked like.
Dobrokhotov also started a flash-mob on Facebook, asking his readers to share memories of Soviet “good old” times, attracting many less than fond recollections of hardship.
Russian officials promise that the foreign goods ban will not impact local food prices and say the list will allow further changes. But the real question is: should Russians really be saying their farewells to their favorite booze? And should they be stocking up on Snickers and Kinder Surprises?
Эй, вы не так поняли цитату Джобса "Stay hungry. Stay fooloish."
— ЦП (@morketolog) August 6, 2014
Hey, you completely misunderstood the Jobs quote “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”