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Russia Likely to Introduce Food Embargo on Ukraine Goods in 2016

© Sputnik / Alexander Astafyev / Go to the photo bankMinister of Economic Development Aleksei Ulyukaev speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Government House, October 8, 2015
Minister of Economic Development Aleksei Ulyukaev speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Government House, October 8, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukaev said that there is a rather high probability that Russia will introduce a food embargo against Ukraine on January 1, 2016.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — There is a rather high probability that Russia will introduce a food embargo against Ukraine on January 1, 2016, Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukaev said.

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On Tuesday, the Ukraine-Russia-European Commission consultations on the implementation of the EU-Ukraine free trade agreement took place in Brussels. The Russian side, represented by Ulyukaev, repeatedly expressed concerns over certain details of the deal, stressing that a rushed agreement could expose Russia to certain risks.

"There is no fatal obligation to introduce a food embargo, it is not connected with the negotiations on the [Ukraine-EU] Association, but with the sanctions regime. But the date of the next ministerial discussion of the Russian concerns over the association is not set, so it is highly probable that… by January 1, we will not reach an agreement, and non-preferential trade regime for Ukraine will be introduced," Ulyukayev told reporters later Tuesday.

The prospected free trade deal is part of the bilateral cooperation under the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement ratified last year. The treaty obliges the parties to cooperate in the area of economic policy, legislation and regulations concerning a broad range of issues, including financing, information exchange and banking operations.

Meanwhile, the European Union and the United States, on which the Kiev government increasingly relies, stick to the sanctions policy against Russia, accusing Moscow of interference in Ukraine's internal affairs, with Russia repeatedly denying those allegations.

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