KIEV, August 15 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov ordered his government on Thursday to resolve issues with Russia’s Customs Service that have led to a backup of Ukrainian goods on the border, said the Ukrainian government's envoy for cooperation with Russia.
Large queues of freight cars formed on Thursday at the Russian-Ukrainian border after new checks introduced at Russian customs began to delay the export of Ukrainian goods.
“The prime minister ordered an investigation, to establish the facts and to take proper measures regarding the protection of domestic goods producers,” said the envoy, Valery Muntiyan. “If such issues and problems emerged, they must be settled.”
He added that the government was already forming a working group to take care of the situation.
It was not immediately clear what exactly the new measures involve, but the Federation of Employers of Ukraine, which represents the interests of thousands of companies that together account for some 70 percent of Ukraine’s GDP, said on Wednesday that Russian customs had suddenly demanded that all Ukrainian goods be unloaded and inspected at the border.
The new restrictions prompted anger in Ukraine, where one lawmaker described them as a part of an escalating "trade war." Ukraine is scheduled to sign key free-trade agreements with the European Union in November, while the Kremlin is pushing for Kiev to commit to a Moscow-led Customs Union with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.