The container shipping unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk recently announced (in a newsletter), that as a result of a Russian ban imposed on food imports from Western countries, a large portion of produce currently out on trade routes must be returned to its original senders. The company did not give a specific number of vessels affected or announce the volume of goods that have been disturbed by Russian's import ban.
Russia imposed the ban earlier in August 2014, in retaliation against Western sanctions for its actions in Ukraine, where pro-Moscow rebels are currently battling Ukraine's government forces. The West accuses Russia of fueling the rebellion, a charge Moscow denies. The Russian import bans took immediate effect once implemented which left many Maersk's shipping customers completely unprepared for these sanctions. Thus a significant quantity of cargo out at sea must be immediately returned to sender. In light of the embargo, Europeans are being urged to eat more fruits and vegetables; as a way to remedy the impact on the Russian Restrictions.
Maersk is the largest shipping company in the world. It operates the world's leading container shipping line – Maersk Line, and owns a number of port terminals through APM Terminals. Given this, the impact could be significant. That said, some analysts believe that the situation is not all bad for Maersk. Some say that the company's shipping and terminal segments could benefit, if Russia decided to increase imports from Brazil. Another likely beneficiary of this ban is a group of businessmen with strong ties to the Kremlin. The bans have caused food prices to source within Russia and with domestic food being mostly available right now these Russian tycoons, such as the son-in-law of a friend of Vladimir Putin, have seen their business earnings increase.