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    Ukraine Economy Ministry Claims Russia Stops Transit of Ukrainian Goods

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    Ukraine's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade called the decision of Russian authorities to ban transit of goods from Ukraine "non-transparent, unjustified and discriminatory."

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Russia has fully stopped the transit of Ukrainian goods through its territory, Ukraine's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade said Monday,

    "… as for January 4, 2016, the Russian Federation has totally stopped the transit of goods from Ukraine through its [Russian] territory. [We consider] this ban imposed by the Russian Federation, to be non-transparent, unjustified and discriminatory," the ministry said in a statement.

    According to the statement, by imposing such ban, Russia has allegedly violated its obligations in the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area (CISFTA) agreement, signed in October, 2011.

    The ministry noted that the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and some interested enterprises are currently searching for "alternative" ways of transit.

    An EU-Ukraine arrangement on a free trade zone came into effect on January 1. The two entities have agreed to gradually streamline flows of goods as part of their association deal. Russia has repeatedly warned to freeze its free trade agreement with Ukraine to prevent unlimited access to Russian market for cheaper EU goods.

    On December 21, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a directive to impose economic measures against Ukraine beginning January 1, 2016, in response to Kiev’s implementation of economic component of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and joining a free-trade zone with the European Union on the same date.

    On December 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending Russia’s implementation of the Commonwealth of Independent States free trade deal with Ukraine, effective since the beginning of 2016.

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