After worldwide businesses froze sales or stopped exports over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin stated on Wednesday that Russia has authorised stores to import products from overseas without the approval of the trademark owner.
Western economic sanctions have wreaked havoc on Russia’s retail sector, as have choices by companies like H&M, Apple, and Nike to scale back their operations in the country.
Mishustin stated “parallel imports” were needed to ensure that certain commodities could continue to be sent to Russia in a televised government meeting.
“Despite the unfriendly activities of foreign politicians, this method will ensure the supply of commodities to our country,” he stated.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will decide which commodities can be brought into Russia in this manner, according to Mishustin.
The policy “would foster competition between brands by increasing the number of enterprises that import goods to Russia, which will contribute to a fall in retail pricing for these goods,” according to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS), which had drafted draught laws on parallel imports.
Russia has suggested a slew of support measures to shore up its economy, which is facing its worst economic crisis in more than two decades as a result of an unprecedented assault of Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.
On February 24, Moscow dispatched tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine in what it described as a “special operation” aimed at degrading its southern neighbor’s military capabilities and rooting out “dangerous nationalists.”
Ukraine’s soldiers have put up a strong fight, and the West is hoping that the sanctions it has imposed would drive Russia to leave.