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EU says no plans to ban goods from Crimea

June 20, 2014, 17:20 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
The goods will have no Ukrainian marking, quality certificate or documents on compliance with veterinary and phytosanitary norms, which will make it impossible for them to enjoy EU trade preferences
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Crimean merlot grapes

Crimean merlot grapes

© ITAR-TASS/Alexai Pavlishak

BRUSSELS, June 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union does not plan to fully ban goods from Crimea, a former Ukrainian region that reunified with Russian in mid-March, but the merchandise will not receive trade preferences under a free trade agreement between Brussels and Kiev, a source in the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said Friday.

The statement came shortly before the signing of a free trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU scheduled to take place May 27 on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels.

The goods will have no Ukrainian marking, quality certificate or documents on compliance with veterinary and phytosanitary norms, which will make it impossible for them to enjoy EU trade preferences.

Earlier a source in the European External Action Service said the EU will only allow Ukraine-certified goods from Crimea to its market.

The decision will be part of the EU-developed strategy of non-recognition of Crimea’s accession to Russia, he stressed.

Some Russian and Crimean officials and companies have been subjected to sanctions by Western nations, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Crimea’s incorporation by Russia.

The West led by the United States has repeatedly threatened Russia with further penalties, including economic ones, for its position on Ukraine (incorporation of Crimea and what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests in Ukraine’s Southeast).

Russia has rejected the threats of broader sanctions, saying the language of punitive measures is counterproductive and will have a boomerang effect on Western countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly dismissed Western claims that Russia could in any way be involved in protests in Ukraine's Southeast.

 

Crimea's incorporation by Russia

Instability embraced Ukraine after a coup occurred in the country in February. Security concerns caused President Viktor Yanukovych to leave the country the same month.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the authorities brought to power by the coup.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11. They held a referendum on March 16, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Putin signed the reunification deals March 18.

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