Updated 5:50 p.m. Moscow Time
KIEV, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – The Kiev government has referred the matter of Russian import restrictions on fruits, grain and vegetables from Ukraine to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the country’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture said Thursday.
"By taking such measures, the Russian side fails to comply with provisions of a bilateral agreement and international standards for phytosanitary measures, because Ukraine received no formal notifications of any violations from the Russian side," the ministry said in a statement published on its website.
Last week, Russia's agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor requested Ukraine to provide information about the country's agriculture and harvest in various regions and "present other convincing guarantees that agricultural products supplied to Russia were produced in Ukraine" before October 21. According to Rosselkhoznadzor, certain goods arriving from Ukraine could have been produced in the European Union, targeted by Russia's import ban, while some others failed to comply with Russia's phytosanitary standards.
As Kiev did not present the requested information, on Tuesday, Rosselkhoznadzor announced the introduction of a temporary ban on agriculture imports from Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Ukraine's Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Ihor Shvaika said that Ukrainian farmers will lose about $17 million by the end of the year if Russia keeps its import ban on Ukrainian agricultural products. According to the minister, Ukrainian experts estimate possible losses for 2015 at $50 million to $60 million.