ISTANBUL, October 10. /TASS/. Russia has invited Ukraine to hold talks over the bilateral goods transit dispute within the World Trade Organization in early November, but there has been no reply from Kiev to this day, the chief of the Economic Development Ministry’s trade talks department, Maksim Medvedkov, has told the media.
"We have confirmed to our Ukrainian counterparts we are prepared to hold consultations. We are to hold them within 60 days after September 15, in other words, by November 15. Our proposal was for having the talks in early November. No reply so far. If the consultations fail to produce an agreement, then the procedure may evolve into the second phase - that of the disputes settlement mechanism," Medvedkov said.
Earlier, Russia’s Economic Development Ministry said that Ukraine had addressed Russia with a query regarding consultations within the WTO over the restrictions of Ukrainian goods’ transit through Russia. The Economic Ministry in cooperation with the agencies concerned will closely study Ukraine’s request and arguments.
Ukraine’s free trade area agreement with the European Union took effect on January 1, 2016. In that situation, as the Russian Foreign Ministry explained, Moscow had to take countermeasures neutralizing the risks for its economy and suspended the free trade area agreement with Ukraine. Before that all Ukrainian goods, except for sugar, had been brought into Russia without any taxes levied. The introduction of the zero tax on European export to Ukraine posed a risk of uncontrolled re-export to Russia.