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Russia Blocks Imports from Ukraine

Published: August 16, 2013; 11:09 · (Vindobona)

Kyiv demands to immediately remove bureaucratic obstacles.

Russia Blocks Imports from Ukraine / Picture: © Flickr

Without warning, Russia has imposed new regulations on goods from Ukraine and therefore almost brought imports from the neighboring country to a standstill. On Thursday, Kyiv demanded Moscow to immediately remove the obstacles. The Kremlin emphasized there no political motives for the drastic measures. The decision was made by the Russian customs authority “independently and for regulatory reasons”, a government spokesment announced, according to news agency Interffax.

Experts consider this step as a Russian “punishment” for Ukraine’s efforts to sign a far-reaching association agreement with the European Union. Furthermore, the former Sovjet Republic refuses to join a Customs Union with Kazakhstan and Belarus, pushed by Russia.

Head of the Ukrainian government Nikolai Asarov announced that Ukraine wanted to cooperate closely both with Russia and the European Union in the future. He pointed out that the possible losses for the second biggest country in Europe could run up to “several billions” in case the Russian trade barriers should continue. Only recently, Russia has banned the internationally distributed chocolate brand Roshen because of “violations to quality regulations”.

At the V4 summit in Wisla/Poland in July Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic announced that the V4 countries are interested in Ukraine’s successful European integration, particularly in signing the Association Agreement with the European Union. The four countries were ready to assist Ukraine in realizing this important goal, Gasparovic added, as reported by ru.euronews.com. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has been stressing that Ukraine was ready to meet all the conditions suggested by Brussels in order to sign the Association Agreement, which is planned in November this year.