Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree imposing sales duties on Ukrainian goods. The decree will take effect if Ukraine implements regulations of free trade zone with the European Union, the prime minister said Friday at the International Investment Forum in Sochi, RBC reports.
"I want to inform you that today I signed a decree on the introduction of import duties on Ukrainian goods, i.e. we introduce regular trade restrictions," said Medvedev. He noted that it goes about import duties on the products of light and food industry of Ukraine.
According to Medvedev, the duties will take effect should Ukraine start applying the provisions of the free trade zone with the European Union early.
"The fact that Kiev signed the Association Agreement with the European Union is an inalienable right of Ukraine as a state, I can not comment on it. But I want to remind you that we have agreed with the European side and with the Ukrainian side, that the removal of trade restrictions would take effect from 2016. ... We can not allow the provisions that pose a threat to Russia take action early," said Medvedev.
On September 16, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, in sync with the European Parliament, ratified the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. Earlier, at a tripartite meeting in the format of Ukraine-EU-Russian Federation, an agreement was reached, according to which the economic part of the Association Agreement with the EU, namely the free trade area between the EU and Ukraine, was postponed till the end of 2015.
On September 17, the government of Ukraine approved an action plan for the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk promised that the country would urgently introduce mirrored measures, should Russia introduce trade sanctions.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the year 2014 a new starting point in world's history, noting that Western countries ceased to recognize Russia's national interests, Interfax reports.
"2014 has changed a lot in the world. I'm sure it will go down in history books largely as a crucial year not only for Russia, but also for the whole world, as a starting point of modern times," said Medvedev at the Sochi Investment Forum.
He noted that the events related to the Ukrainian crisis, the sanctions standoff, force Russia and its foreign partners to look at the world system coordinates "unfortunately, differently." "We have the feeling that not all, but in any case, many of our Western partners ceased to recognize the fact that Russia has its own national interests," said the prime minister.
Medvedev added that the policy of Russian opponents aims to build a new world order isolating a half of Eurasia from the rest of the world.
"We are the largest country in the world, a nuclear power, in which 150 million people live, a territory with huge natural reserves, a large market for goods, services and investment," Medvedev said. "What do the opponents want? To build a new world order based on uncompromising opposition? Do they want to close their eyes tight and pretend that Russia does not exist on the map? Do they want to shut off almost a half of the Eurasian continent from the rest of the world? This is impossible, as practice shows, even in relations to not very big countries, let alone us - Russia," he said.
Medvedev also said that Russia did not start the sanctions standoff with the West. "We did not start this conflict. We were forced to respond," he said.
He noted that for several Western partners, putting stronger pressure on Russia seems to be the only solution to all problems. "For several months, our country remains under the conditions of a "tennis game" of sanctions with the West," Medvedev said.
"Obviously, with our country, as well as with other countries, one can not speak from a position of economic blackmail," said Medvedev.