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Russia’s decision on food embargo against Ukraine not final — minister

November 19, 2015, 14:59 UTC+3

It will come into effect only if the parties fail to agree on eliminating economic risks for Russia in case of Ukraine’s Association with the EU

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© Dmitriy Rogulin/TASS

MANILA, November 19. /TASS/. Russia’s decision to impose food embargo against Ukraine cannot be regarded as a final one, and it will come into effect only if the parties fail to agree on eliminating of economic risks for Russia in case of Ukraine’s Association with the EU, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev told reporters.

The Russian government has decided to impose food embargo against Ukraine starting from January 1. The decision was announced yesterday by the Russian economic development minister. Alexey Ulyukayev said that in case it was imposed, the food embargo against Ukraine would be similar to that applied to the EU countries. According to the official, potential damage for the economy may reach around $1.5 bln per year. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk however said Ukraine estimates potential losses of Russia’s food embargo in 2016 at $600 mln.

"This decision was made as a side-step decision. Both decisions - on possible introduction of regime of most favored nation treatment and on food embargo were taken as deferred decisions. If certain decision are not made until January 1, one of these decision will come into force automatically," he said.

Ukyukayev said that the Russian government did not make any additional decisions besides those that were made earlier.

The elimination of risks will be discussed at the trilateral ministerial meeting (Russia-EU-Ukraine) in Brussels on December 1.

Earlier Ulyukayev said that European and Ukrainian sides refuse to make legally binding documents related to the Association of Ukraine and the EU that is why the chances to agree on that matter in Brussels are small.

In early September, a trilateral meeting was held in Brussels where it was announced that the implementation of the agreement on association of Kiev and the EU will start from January 1, 2016.

After the meeting EU Trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that the draft of practical solutions for the implementation of the EU-Ukraine association would be ready in October-November.

Russia, the EU and Ukraine are to prepare legally binding documents - inter-governmental agreements or international agreements on the subject. The expert round of talks was held in early October. For that meeting, the EU had prepared its own version of a document to resolve the risks. Ulyukayev said that then the experts considered it unacceptable and decided to work out a contract option proposed by the Russian side. According to him, if the Russian proposals are not accepted in a legally binding form, Russia will introduce a normal trade regime for Ukraine, without any preferences it gave it earlier.

Russia’s proposals in particular include a parallel application of technical regulations of Russia, the Customs Union /Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan/ and the new EU regulations for Ukraine until 2025. in Russia also proposed to establish quotas for Ukrainian goods from the "risk group" in case of the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

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