The Russian Federation has to respect commitments it took upon itself within the WTO, the EU Delegation in Ukraine said in Kyiv on January 6 (Interfax-Ukraine).
“The EU assesses the compatibility of various transit restrictions with the WTO regulations. We believe all WTO members, including Russia, should respect its multilateral commitments regardless any political views and considerations”, said Jurgis Vilcinskas, Speaker of the EU Delegation in Ukraine.
The official mentioned that Russia introduced a number of sanctions and trade restrictions against Ukraine in early 2016, after the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement took effect.
“Russia’s retaliatory actions are now far beyond the suspension of any trade agreement within the CIS Free Trade Area or trade embargo. Russia introduced tough restrictions on supplies of Ukrainian goods to Kazakhstan when transited via the Russian territory”, the diplomat said. He quoted Ukraine’s Ministry of Trade and Economic Development, which most recently reported that transit of all Ukrainian goods as well as movement of Ukrainian vans across Russia is actually prohibited.
January 1, Russian government ruled that the Ukrainian cargo for transit should go via Belarus and through particular checkpoints. The goods coming from Ukraine to Kazakhstan can only cross the Russian-Kazakh border via the checkpoint at Ozinki railway station.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Trade and Economic Development said there could be difficulties with the transit of Ukrainian goods to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, China and other Asian countries.
“Besides, such rough limitation of transit through Russia endangers interests of third countries that won’t be able to receive the necessary goods”, the Ministry said. “Until the situation is handled, the Ukrainian side urges haulers not to plan any business trips to Russia, so as to avoid any inconveniences and extra expenses”.