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Planned anti-Russian book sanctions in Ukraine to backfire

July 29, 2014, 18:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Cabinet planned sanctions against Russian books to protect Ukrainian consumers against xenophobic books aimed to destabilize the country
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Karpov

MOSCOW, July 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian sanctions against Russian books would first hit Ukraine, head of the Russian Press Distributors Association Alexander Oskin said on Tuesday.

The comment followed Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Sych statement the Cabinet planned sanctions against Russian books to protect Ukrainian consumers against xenophobic books aimed to destabilize the country.

“Such a measure will primarily negatively affect Ukraine, the more so as according to Sych, Russian books now make up almost 80% of the Ukrainian book market,” Oskin said. “Notably, this is both fiction and academic literature.” A proposed ban would be destructive for Ukraine and limit Ukrainians’ scope in learning the world, he believes.

Russian literature on the Ukrainian market is ordered by Ukraine, he added.

Speaking of Russian publishing houses, Oskin said such sanctions would not considerably influence their sales.

As next year had been declared year of literature, the association was preparing to propose measures to support the Russian book market, Oskin said.

“Our goal is to increase the total number of book retailers twice. Therefore, we’ll look for sales markets within Russia,” he added.

Last year, sales of Russian Eksmo publishing house books in Ukraine accounted for 6% of total sales, said head of fiction editorial staff Sergey Rubis. Fiction sales in roubles dropped 40% year-on-year over the first six months and would reach about 3% by end of 2014, he told ITAR-TASS. The main reasons are military actions in Ukraine’s southeast, the country’s overall economic decline, and hryvnia depreciation against the Russian rouble.

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