Coffee has been spared from the list of banned food imports from certain countries that Russia announced on 7 August. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made the announcement that the country has completely banned the import of beef, pork, fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the EU, US, Australia, Canada and Norway. The ban follows sanctions that these countries have placed against Russia, in protest to the country’s support of separatist rebels in the Ukraine. “For a long time, Russia has not responded to the so-called sanctions declared against it by certain countries,” Mevedev said in a speech published on the Russian government web site. “Until the last moment we hoped that our foreign colleagues would realise that sanctions lead to a blind alley, and that no one benefits from them. But they didn’t realise this, and now we have been forced to respond.” That coffee has been spared from the list of imports will come as a relief to many in the industry. Russia is currently the largest market for soluble coffee in the world, and foreign coffee companies Nestlé, Mondelez, Kraft Foods, and McDonald’s’ McCafé all have a strong presence in the market.