Ukraine Extends Trade Sanctions Against Russia for Another Year

Ukraine will keep in force the tariffs it imposed on Russian goods for another year, the country’s government has decided, according to MP Aleksey Goncharenko, reports.

The levies on Russian imports will stay in place until the end of 2020, the lawmaker said, adding the move comes “in response to Moscow’s actions”. The Russian government has already warned that it will come up with retaliatory measures, and the relevant documents are set to be signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev soon, according to his press secretary.

Ukraine decided to impose the measures after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from its neighbor in 2014 and supported armed rebellions in Ukrainian regions populated by Russians. 

Moscow and Kyiv terminated their free trade deal in 2016 after the trade part of Kyiv’s association agreement with the European Union came into force. Since then both sides imposed multiple trade restrictions against each other.

After the embargo was prolonged last year, Moscow said that tariffs can be lifted if Kyiv gives up its own restrictions targeting specific Russian goods.

The latest round of bilateral sanctions came in April when Kyiv blacklisted imports of glass containers, formalin, electric equipment for railway infrastructure, and other products from Russia. Russia responded with an embargo on oil and petroleum products, and also imposed a ban on some industrial goods, agricultural products, raw materials, and food.

Previously, mutual sanctions did not stop the growth of the turnover between Russia and Ukraine, but in the first eight months of 2019 bilateral trade fell nearly 13 percent to $8.2 billion. Russia still enjoys a trade surplus with its neighboring country, as its exports stand at around $5 billion and imports of Ukranian goods to Russia amount to around $3.2 billion.