Russia President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow will retaliate over EU, US sanctionsReuters

Russia has slapped an import ban on Romanian beef as the Kremlin escalates its response to the latest Western sanctions.

Russia's veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said imports of beef and cattle from Romania were to be suspended, citing an outbreak of mad cow disease.

Moscow's move against Romanian beef follows a raft of Russian bans on products from a number of EU members in what is rapidly becoming a trade war.

Moscow recently halted imports of Polish fruit and vegetables as well as Ukrainian juice and dairy products. It has said it is considering bans on Greek fruit, US poultry and some McDonald's products, including the cheeseburger and Filet-o-Fish.

The latest bans on goods follow tough Western sanctions against Russia's finance, defence and energy sectors. Leaders from the European Union and the United States have accused Russia of backing separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine with weaponry and manpower.

Moreover, some Western leaders have accused the rebels of shooting down the Malaysian passenger airliner MH17, using a Russian-supplied missile.

Russia has claimed the Ukrainian military shot down the jet, which crashed in July, killing all 298 people on board.

Trade Bans Could Boomerang

Yet, the measures to stop imports could have a boomerang effect on Russia's economy and boost inflation, the central bank warned.

"We are particularly concerned that the slowdown in inflation was lower than expected in July," the central bank said, as quoted by Interfax news agency.

Inflation dipped to 7.5% in July, yet remains much higher than a year earlier when it reached 6.5%.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin vowed on Tuesday to launch more retaliatory measures against the EU and the US, adding that the government should be careful not to hurt ordinary consumers.

Russia is reportedly considering a ban on EU airliners using its airspace, although Moscow has not confirmed any sanctions on aviation.