In Digest, Feature Articles, Russia, Ukraine

The Moscow Times, Dec. 21 2015

Fruit market in Moscow pictured in 2009 (Vladimir Fedorenko)

Fruit market in Moscow pictured in 2009 (Vladimir Fedorenko)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on the introduction of a food embargo against Ukraine in response to the country joining anti-Russian sanctions, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

“Starting Jan. 1, 2016, Russia will extend the economic measures for Ukraine in connection with it joining anti-Russian sanctions by the European Union and the United States,” Medvedev said at a meeting with deputy prime ministers on Monday.

In August 2014, Moscow imposed a food ban on a wide range of food imports from EU, U.S., Norway, Canada and Australia in retaliation for the Western sanctions against Russia over its role in the Ukraine conflict.

In June, Russia prolonged the ban for another year, following the extension of anti-Russian sanctions by the Western leaders.

In August, the Kremlin extended the food embargo to Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Liechtenstein over their support of the anti-Russian sanctions. Regarding Ukraine, Russia said it would apply special conditions of embargo, which would come into effect in case Kiev agreed to an economic association with EU not later than Jan.1, 2016. Russia and Ukraine are currently trading in accordance with the free trade agreement between CIS countries.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk estimated losses caused by the Russian embargo in 2016 at $600 million, the RBC newspaper reported last month.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending a the free trade agreement between Russia and Ukraine. The measure also comes into effect on January 1. Russia and Ukraine are currently trading in accordance with the free trade agreement between CIS countries. [See note.]

Note: Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area (CISFTA) is a free trade area between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. All CISFTA participants except Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Moldova are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, comprising a single economic market.

The CIS Free Trade Zone Agreement, proposed since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, was signed on 18 October 2011 by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Moldova and Armenia.[1] The agreement replaced existing bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements between the countries.–Wikipedia:

Read also:
Putin denies Russia sabotaged talks on free trade zone with Ukraine, RT.com, Wed. Dec 22, 2015

Russia didn’t ditch negotiations with Europe over its free trade agreement with Ukraine, said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. The EU left the negotiations with the words “game over”, “which is intolerant and not very European,” according to Putin.
The European Commission has said the EU, Russia and Ukraine were close to reaching an accord over Ukraine’s integration into Europe. However, according to the EU, Moscow didn’t show enough flexibility to make the talks successful…

Russia suspends longstanding trade agreement with Ukraine, Dec 16, 2015

Russia to impose food ban against Ukraine starting Jan. 1, RT.com, Nov 19, 2015

Moscow will impose a food embargo on Ukraine starting from January 1, 2016 when the economic part of Kiev’s European Association Agreement comes into force, according to Russia’s Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukaev.

“Since Ukraine joined economic and financial sanctions against the Russian Federation, we have decided to introduce protective measures by imposing a food embargo,” said the minister.

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