World / Europe

Russia mulls introducing duties on Ukrainian goods

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-19 20:05

MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday signed a decree warning to introduce customs duties on Ukrainian goods.

Russia mulls introducing duties on Ukrainian goods
"I have signed a decree today to introduce customs duties on Ukrainian export goods, such as food and products of consumer and processing industries, changing Ukraine's trade status from preferential to regular," Medvedev said at the Sochi Investment Forum.

Medvedev specified that the decree will come into force pending Ukraine's legal or practical implementations of provisions of the EU association agreement before January 1, 2016, according to the Interfax news agency.

He added that "such steps are taken only to protect Russian domestic manufacturers from unfair competition," blaming the West for taking sanctions on Russia as "the only solution to all problems."

Russia will not allow certain provisions of the Ukraine-EU deal to take effect ahead of time, "which present a premature threat to our market," Medvedev said.

The Ukrainian Parliament and the European Parliament simultaneously ratified the association agreement on Tuesday, which includes a comprehensive free trade deal.

As a concession to Russia, which fears that free trade between Ukraine and the EU would allow European products to flood Russia via Ukraine, the EU and Ukraine have agreed to delay the implementation of the free trade part of the deal until the end of next year.

As a temporary arrangement, the EU will unilaterally abolish customs duties on Ukrainian goods to support the weak economy of the country.

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