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EU extends safety net measures to help farmers cope with Russian ban on their produce

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BRUSSELS — The European Union has extended for a year a series of measures to help EU farmers cope with a Russian ban on their produce.

The move comes a day after Russian authorities steamrollered tons of contraband cheese and destroyed fruit in a show of commitment to the ban.

The EU's top farm official, Phil Hogan, said Friday that "we need to continue to provide a safety net in order to give security to producers."

The measures help farmers to sell or store some produce they would previously have exported to Russia.

Russia banned many Western farm products, including meat, milk products, vegetables and fruit on Aug. 6, 2014, in retaliation for U.S. and EU sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine.

PHOTO: In this photo taken on Tuesday, Aug.  4, 2015, an employee puts products on a shelf at a Moscow's farmers' food store "LavkaLavka" in Moscow, Russia. Russia has marked the one-year anniversary of its ban on Western agricultural products with an order to destroy contraband food, a move that has raised controversy amid the nation's economic downturn. Some Russian farmers and retailers have thrived thanks to the Kremlin’s ban on Western food, seizing the market niche previously occupied by imports. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, an employee puts products on a shelf at a Moscow's farmers' food store "LavkaLavka" in Moscow, Russia. Russia has marked the one-year anniversary of its ban on Western agricultural products with an order to destroy contraband food, a move that has raised controversy amid the nation's economic downturn. Some Russian farmers and retailers have thrived thanks to the Kremlin’s ban on Western food, seizing the market niche previously occupied by imports. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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PHOTO: In this photo taken on Wednesday, Aug.  5, 2015, John Kopiski, a British-born business executive who came to Moscow for a 3-day business trip and ended up staying for more than 20 years, controls the process of cheese making in a storage at his farm in Krutovo village, Vladimir region, about 220 kilometers (some 140 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Russia has marked the one-year anniversary of its ban on Western agricultural products with an order to destroy contraband food, a move that has raised controversy amid the nation's economic downturn. Farmers like Kopiski backed the Kremlin ban on Western food, hoping to expand their production to fill the market niche which previously had been occupied by imported food. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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