Russia has banned importation of agricultural produce, raw materials, and food originating from Ukraine from 1 January 2016. This is stated in a Russian government resolution published on the website of the Russian government, the UNIAN news agency reports.
"From 1 January 2016, a ban is being imposed on importation of agricultural produce, raw materials, and food, the country of origin of which is Ukraine, into Russia," the explanatory note to the document states.
According to the Russian government, "the adopted decision is aimed at extending the special retaliatory economic measures in relation to Ukraine."
Recently, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia intended to impose an embargo on food products from Ukraine on 1 January 2016, when the economic part of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine enters into effect. In addition, the free trade area between Ukraine and Russia, under which Ukrainian goods were imported into Russia at a zero customs rate, would be abolished on 1 January 2016. The rate of the customs duty on Ukrainian goods will average 6% from the new year.
In resolutions adopted previously (in August 2014 and June 2015), the government of Russia stipulated that the ban on importation of agricultural products, raw materials, and foodstuffs originating from Ukraine into Russia would apply "from the date that Paragraph 1 of the government resolution of 19 September 2014 entitled ‘On Introduction of Import Duties on Goods Originating in Ukraine’ enters into force, but not later than 1 January 2016.”
According to the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, Ukrainian farmers substantially diversified the markets for their products and reduced agricultural exports to Russia to 2% of the country’s total agricultural exports in 2015. The Cabinet of Ministers said that the diversification of markets for Ukrainian agricultural products would help to overcome the Russian embargo.