The escalation in tit-for-tat sanctions between the European Union and Russia is raising fears of a damaging trade war.
The EU is Russia’s largest trading partner and makes up an estimated 75 percent of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.
Russia is the European bloc’s third largest trading partner. But the EU imports more from Russia than it exports to it.
This month Moscow slapped an embargo on food imports from the EU, as well as from the United States.
European agricultural producers, whose trade with Russia was worth almost 12 billion euros last year, could face huge losses.
Luigi Negro, advisor to farmers in the Apulia region of Italy, said: “The economic blow we’ve received strengthens the resolve of our own producers, but, at the same time, it’s a cause of great concern as well.”
Russia is also weighing up the cost of the sanctions.
Several economists warn that food prices will escalate and fuel Russia’s inflation problem.
The EU has imposed sanctions on several Russian economic sectors and blacklisted dozens of businesses and officials.