KIEV, July 21. /TASS/. Leader of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform for Life Viktor Medvedchuk said on Sunday he doesn’t think the Ukrainian economy could be competitive in the next ten to fifteen years with the current association agreement with the European Union in place.
"We signed an association and free trade agreement with the European Union and it has literally killed our economy. The country has impoverished. So, we will not be able to say that our economy is competitive or even can be such in the next ten to fifteen years," he wrote on his Twitter account.
After the economic section of Ukraine’s association and free trade agreement with the European Union came in force, Russia suspended its free trade zone agreement with Ukraine from January 1, 2016. It was done to protect Russia’s economic interests. In particular, it expanded onto Ukraine its food embargo that was imposed by the Russian government as response to the European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions. Ukraine, in turn, banned imports of Russian-made goods.
Since 2016, Ukraine has been imposing customs taxes and bans on imports from Russia. Thus, restrictions are applicable to meat, fish, cereals, grain, baked goods, confectioneries, dairy products, coffee, tea, vodka, beer, cigarettes, some types of chemicals, mineral fertilizers, railway equipment, pet foods and veterinary medicines, as well as cars, buses, tractors, trucks and motorcycles. On July 5, the Ukrainian government extended the ban till December 31, 2020.