KIEV, August 17. /TASS/. Ukraine is expected to lose about $1 billion from trade restrictions Moscow had to impose after Kiev had joined a free trade zone with the European Union, Ukraine’s deputy minister for economic development and trade told Apostrophe edition on Tuesday.
Natalya Mikolskaya said Ukrainian exports to Russia shrank by 36.2% in the first six months of 2016 year-on-year, while exports to Kazakhstan dropped by 46.2%
At the same time, she believes the pace of exports decline "will be much slower than last year". "The decline rate slowed down in five months," she said, noting that a decline in exports during this period of time was 31.9% last year against 11.5% this year.
"Besides, exports to the European Union have grown 4.5%," said Mikolskaya, who is also Ukraine’s Trade Representative. As for the EU "it is not just growth that is important, but rather the fact that it is seen in all sectors," she added.
On December 30, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a law suspending a free trade zone agreement with Ukraine as the free trade zone agreement between Ukraine and the EU came into force. From 2016, Russia also limited transit of Ukrainian goods across its territory.
Starting from January 1, 2016, Russia imposed a ban on the imports of agricultural produce, raw foods, and foodstuffs from Ukraine.
In turn, the Ukrainian government banned a number of Russian food products for import to Ukraine from January 10. The list includes 43 foodstuffs. Specifically, it bans the imports of bread and bakery products, cookies, chocolates, cattle meat, fish, roasted coffee, black tea, baby food, cigarettes with filter, beer, vodka, and some other commodities.
As the free trade zone agreement with Ukraine was suspended, President Putin signed a decree on measures to protect Russia’s economic security and national interests during the transportation of transit cargoes from Ukraine to Kazakhstan via the territory of Russia.
Putin made amendments to the decree as of July 1 and spread the requirements contained in it to Kyrgyzstan. He also extended the decree’s validity until December 31, 2017.
The document imposes a temporary ban on truck and railway transportation via the Russian territory of goods, which Russia subjects to import customs duties established by the EAEC single customs tariff and which are different from zero, and also goods included in the government-approved list of agricultural products, raw materials and food. However, Russia can allow the transit of separate goods via its territory by automobile and railway transport at the request of the authorities of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on condition that all the established transportation procedures are observed.