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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

EU compensates fruit and vegetable farmers hit by Russia's sanctions with $168 million

BRUSSELS - The European Commission is pledging 125 million euros ($168 million) to assist fruit and vegetable producers hit by Russia's ban on food imports from the 28-nation bloc.

It said Monday the funds will help those selling products like tomatoes, carrots, peppers, apples and pears.

Russia's ban on EU food imports this month coincided with the harvesting season and led to a supply glut that is weighing on prices and causing losses for producers. The Commission aims to compensate producers who decide to not harvest some of their goods or give products away for free. Russia is the main export market for many EU fruits and vegetables.

Moscow banned imports in retaliation for EU and U.S. sanctions against Russia introduced over what the West sees as Russia's destabilization of Ukraine.

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