The head of Russia’s food safety agency, Rosselkhoznadzor, said that the country will be replacing U.S. and Canadian beef and pork with meat from India and China. He added that the change will be permanent, even if the economic sanctions that Canada, the United States and other countries are enforcing due to Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine.

“Russia’s Far East used to be heavily reliant on meat supplies from the United States and Canada,” said Sergei Dankvert, as reported by Forbes. “Now that we are actively cooperating with China’s veterinary authorities on…pork supplies from certain highly-integrated Chinese enterprises, the U.S. and Canadian suppliers will not be able to come back.”

Russia slapped a ban on many European, U.S. and Canadian food exporters on August 7 in response to additional sanctions levied on Russian businesses by Brussels and Washington. All three have been mired in economic combat since March, when Russia annexed the autonomous region of Crimea from Ukraine.

Rosselkhoznadzor only has the authority to ban meat packing facilities, or entire companies, because of food safety problems. If the sanctions are lifted and U.S. and Canadian products are still prohibited on food safety issues, the affected companies can take their case to the World Trade Organization on ground of unwarranted protectionism, Forbes reports.

Source: Forbes