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19 November 2015

In an interview, aired by Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Wednesday, Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said that the restrictions of the food embargo are to be expanded to include the country of Ukraine as of January 1, 2016.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom said during a press conference in Kiev earlier this month that Ukraine's intention to ratify an economic part of an association agreement with the European Union (EU) on January 1, 2016, could be grounds for Russia to include the country under the product embargo.

Malmstrom at the time added that the EU and Russia have had regular meetings during which issues involving Ukraine were important topics.

“Our conditions during such meetings are that no embargo will take effect,” she said, adding that she's confident Russia will follow the Brussels' recommendation.

On November 18, however, Ulyukayev said that “since Ukraine joined anti-Russia sanctions – economic, financial – we've decided to impose protective measures in the form of a food embargo”.

If the food embargo takes effect as planned at the start of the new year, Ukraine could be looking at potential loses estimated at US $600 million, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenuyuk said as reported by TASS.

On November 10, Ulyukayev said that the chances Russia would not carry through with a food embargo against Ukraine were slim.

“Colleagues (in the EU) are not listening to our concerns, and I would say that they will treat our understanding of the risks and ways of alleviating them,” these are the only means that the EU would be able to avoid an embargo against Ukraine.

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