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PM says Government to introduce countersanctions against Russian products
24.12.2015 | 13:42
Information and Communication Department of the Secretariat of the CMU

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has approved amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Foreign Economic Activities" (as to providing the Government with the right to apply appropriate economic measures against the state-aggressor) № 898-VIII, which enables the Cabinet of Ministers to introduce analogous restrictive measures against the Russian Federation in case of imposing an embargo on Ukrainian products by Russia.

This bill has been supported by 291 MPs.

Presenting the bill at Parliament, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Russian Federation for a long time "tried and keeps trying to fight Ukraine down not only by using military, financial measures, but also by economic pressure and economic impact": "The main goal of the Russian Federation was to prevent a free trade area between Ukraine and the European Union from coming into force."

He recalled that during the current year the Ukrainian side had been holding dozens of consultations in Brussels together with European partners and invited relevant representatives of Russia to discuss the implementation of the agreement on a free trade area, "I can clearly state that the Russia’s purpose was not to resolve economic issues, but to impede the entry into force of the FTA agreement, as well as to deprive the Ukrainian people of their right to receive a visa-free regime," emphasised Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

In response to the continued consultations, the Prime Minister stressed, "Russia, as expected, has introduced a trade embargo on Ukrainian products, which will take effect from January 1 next year": "This is not the first decision of the Russian Federation, but the ongoing pressure of Russia on Ukraine over the last decade in order to disable the Ukrainian economy from developing and continue pressure on Ukraine by all possible means."

"However, the Ukrainian side gave and will give an appropriate response to these Russian decisions," he stressed.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk reminded that, in the last three years, Ukraine "reduced three times its dependence on Russia": "If three years ago the volume of exports from Ukraine to Russia amounted about 35%, today we have reduced dependence on the Russian market three times, and it makes up only 12 %."

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine appealed to the MPs of Ukraine to adopt amendments to the law on foreign trade. The adoption of these changes will enable the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to introduce analogous restrictive measures against the Russian Federation on January 1 next year.

"We will be protecting Ukraine’s domestic market," pointed out Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine also underlined that Russia just announced its secession from a free trade zone, "Moreover, this statement is illegal, it does not meet international treaties. Neither Kazakhstan, nor Belarus did make such a statement. That is why Russia will get a response from the Ukrainian Government in the form of a trade embargo and mirror sanctions against Russian products."

Arseniy Yatsenyuk recalled that the Government of Ukraine had submitted to Parliament the law on sanctions and following its adoption Ukraine would get a mechanism for application of sanctions for the first time in its history. Last September, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a list of sectoral and individual sanctions against Russia. The decision of the National Security and Defense Council and the decree of the President of Ukraine introduced sectoral and individual sanctions against some Russian companies and individuals.

He also reminded that the Government of Ukraine had filed several lawsuits to the European Court of Human Rights against the Russian Federation for the illegal annexation of Crimea. The illegal annexation of Crimea was condemned by the resolution of the United Nations.

State-owned companies also filed lawsuits against the Russian Federation for causing damages. In particular, Naftogaz Ukrainy filed two lawsuits to the Stockholm arbitration court – concerning the gas contract and the contract for the transit of natural gas through Ukraine.

"We have actually said no to Russian gas monopoly in Ukraine," stressed Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

"Ukraine closed its air space for all the Russian airlines, Ukraine filed a lawsuit to the WTO against the Russian Federation. Ukraine has also sued Russia in the UN International Court for a breach of the Convention on the fight against terrorism. And this is only a shred of what this Government has made in order to protect Ukraine," Arseniy Yatsenyuk highlighted.


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