Ukraine approves measure for measure trade embargo on Russia

Ukrainian members of parliament approve draft law restricting trade with Russia

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (R) reacts as he speaks with Ukrainian MP during the parliament hearing in Kiev on December 29, 2014.

The Ukrainian National Assembly voted on Thursday to give the government the right to impose a trade embargo against Russia.

The draft was supported by 291 of the parliament’s 420 lawmakers. It will come into force after it is signed by President Petro Poroshenko.

Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin announced last week that his country will suspend a free trade zone with Ukraine by January 1, citing "extraordinary circumstances affecting the interests and economic security" of Russia.

Russia's move was in protest against Ukraine’s free trade agreement with the European Union (EU) which could cause European imports to flood into Russia and would make its own exports to Ukraine less competitive.

Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said before Thursday’s vote that Ukraine is planning to introduce similar restrictions starting from January.

"We will protect the internal market of Ukraine," he said.

"Russia will receive a response from the Ukrainian government in the form of trade embargo and mirror sanctions against Russian products."

Ukraine began to impose sanctions recently against Russia, including curbs on 29 Russian banks, at least 20 Russian airlines, several military enterprises and Moscow-based software security group Kaspersky Lab.

President Poroshenko last week slammed Russia’s decision to end preferential trade with Ukraine, saying Russia was "ready to pay the price" for the EU trade agreement.

The Ukrainian government also announced bilateral trade sanctions with Russia may cost $600 million next year, or about 0.6 percent of Ukraine's trade turnover.

Ukrainian police forces stand near a dead pig in a coffin on December 24, 2015 during a demonstration by farmers against Ukraine's taxation policy in front of the country's parliament where the 2016 state budget is under discussion. / Photo by AFP

Controversy over the cancelling of the EU and Ukraine trade deal by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych caused protests which led to Yanukovych being ousted from power in February 2014.

After the ousting of Yanukovych, tensions rose between Kiev and Moscow, resulting in the annexation of Crimea and a Moscow-backed separatist revolt in eastern Ukraine and the worst standoff between Russia and the West in decades.


TRTWorld and agencies