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Putin signs law suspending free trade area agreement with Ukraine

December 30, 2015, 17:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the document, the decision to renew the free trade zone agreement will be taken personally by the president

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© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law suspending the agreement on free trade zone with Ukraine from January 1, 2016. The document was published the legal information portal.

According to the document, a decision on the renewal of the free trade zone agreement will be taken personally by the president.

On December 17, President Putin submitted a federal bill on suspending the treaty on a free trade zone as regards Ukraine. The explanatory note appended to the bill said it envisioned suspension of the preferential treatment of Ukraine in trade relations.

The ancillary documents noted a radical change of circumstances, which Russian found meaningful when the agreement on the free trade zone was signed, in view of transition of the trade and economic chapters of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement (AA) into legal effect as of January 1, 2016.

"The Ukrainian side has de facto renounced development of trade and economic cooperation in the format of the CIS and has opted for the pathway of an all-round integration in the EU," the explanatory note said.

It pointed out in particular the tariff liberalization envisioned by the AA, which might inflict considerable damage on the Russian economy.

The note also said Ukraine’s obligations under association with the EU ran counter to the provisions of the agreement on the free trade zone in what concerned duty-free trade.

Putin signed a decree on suspension of a treaty for creating a free trade zone with Ukraine as of January 1, 2016 "in view of exceptional circumstances, which touch Russia’s interests and economic security and require the adoption of immediate measures," the legal information portal said.

The Russian official has also signed a decree on partial resumption of the free trade zone agreement with Ukraine with regard to customs duty on natural gas export. 

"To resume from January 1 2016 the effect of Title II of Annex I to the free trade zone agreement with Ukraine, signed in St. Petersburg on October 18, 2011, with regard to customs duties applied by Russia when exporting natural gas in gaseous state," the decree says.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has been instructed to send relevant notifications to the parties to the agreement.

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