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State Duma ratifies trade regime agreements with Abkhazia, South Ossetia

December 10, 2013, 17:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 10, 17:32 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian State Duma lower parliament house on Tuesday ratified two agreements on trade regime with Caucasian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The documents are geared to settle the situation “over the use of tariff regulation measures in respect of goods of the Abkhazian and South Ossetian origin after their secession from Georgia,” said Leonid Slursky, the chairman of the State Duma committee for the affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots. The documents establish tax-free imports of goods from these republics, with the exception of imports of sugar, alcohol and tobacco.

No customs duties will be levied on gasoline and diesel fuel in the amount not exceeding 50,000 tonnes a year for Abkhazia and 35,000 tonnes a year for South Ossetia within the first year after the agreements come in force.

According to Slutsky, possible losses from these measures will be inconsiderable and will have no negative financial impacts on the background of Russia’s financial aid to these countries.

The ratification of these agreements “will be a major step to promote trade between Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Russia and other countries of the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan],” Slutsky stressed.

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