Brazil steak
Brazilian picanha meat at a Sao Paolo steak houseReuters

Brazil looks likely to be the biggest beneficiary of the political crisis between Russia and the West after Moscow approached Brasilia over boosting its food imports.

Russia has imposed a one-year ban on food imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Norway and Canada after Western countries imposed tough economic sanctions on Moscow.

Around 90 new Brazilian meat plants were approved to sell chicken, beef and pork to Russia, according to Brazil's secretary of agricultural policy. The agricultural behemoth is also set to increase its exports of corn and soybeans to Russia, Seneri Paludo said.

"Russia has huge potential as a consumer of agricultural commodities," Paludo told reporters in the country's capital Brasilia.

Brazil is taking the opportunity as relations between Russia and the West sank to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

Having accused Moscow of supplying separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine with heavy weaponry that was used to down a Malaysian passenger airliner, Western leaders imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia's finance, defence and energy sectors.

Russia, which accused the Ukrainian military of shooting down the MH17 airliner, responded to the economic penalties by banning all food products and some other goods from the countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia.

Moscow issued an additional rebuke to Washington, by offering the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden three years residency in Russia.

Moscow met with a number of Latin American governments on Wednesday, Reuters reported, in a bid to source alternative food markets.

Already the world's top beef exporter, Brazil looks set to be the biggest winner from Moscow's ban on Western goods.