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Kiev warns of food embargo against Russia in case Moscow introduces its sanctions

November 23, 2015, 15:21 UTC+3

Russia may introduce food embargo against Ukraine starting January 1 2016

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Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk


KIEV, November 23. /TASS/. Russia’s introduction of food embargo against Ukraine from January 1 will get a mirror-like response, the country’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Monday.

"I want to make it clear that Russia’s threats of food embargo on Ukrainian commodities from January 1 are getting similar mirror-like response from Ukraine’s authorities," the prime minister said.

Prime Minister delivered it into the charge of the ministry of economy, ministry of finance, state fiscal service, ministry of internal affairs, frontier service to take steps to implement those decisions.

Starting from January 1, 2016 regulations of the agreement on Ukraine-EU association regarding creation of a free trade zone will come into force.

On October 30, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Ukraine could not be a member of two free trade zones - with the European Union and with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) — concurrently. "It may create a threat of re-export of goods from third [European] countries under the disguise of Ukrainian-made ones," he said. Russian PM said certain measures were needed to remove such risks. "The level of customs tariff protection in respect of Ukraine will be enhanced from January 1, 2016," he said. "Ukraine will enjoy the most favoured nation regime instead of zero customs taxes. Our response economic measures will be extended to Ukraine as a country joining the anti-Russian sanctions," he said. "It is done in conformity with the norms of the World Trade Organization /WTO/ and the CIS Free Trade Zone Agreement."

On November 18, Russian government took a decision to impose food embargo against Ukraine starting from January 1. "Since Ukraine joined anti-Russia sanctions - economic, financial - we’ve decided to impose … protective measures in the form of food embargo," Russia’s Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said, adding that the decision is "postponed till January 1." "Most likely we’ll have to protect our market on a unilateral basis from unattended access of goods through Ukraine’s customs territory, those being goods from third countries, first of all from the states of the European Union. The protection will mainly concern introduction of most favored nation regime. In a situation like that we won’t have reasons for keeping zero rate of customs tariff with Ukraine," the Minister said.

Earlier Ukraine’s PM said the country estimated potential losses of Russia’s food embargo at $600 mln. "We are preparing for Russia’s introduction of trade restrictions against Ukraine. Ukraine performed its assessment of potential losses from embargo, at least for 2016. We will lose about $600 mln of export to Russia," he said. Ukraine’s dependence on Russia declined threefold, Yatsenyuk added. "If our dependence was 35% earlier, it is at the level of 12.5% now," he said.


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