Used to be Ukraine's biggest trading partner
Ukraine lost over $98 billion between 2012 and 2015 due to trade restrictions by Russia, the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade said on Tuesday.
"The volume of trade with the Russian Federation, formerly the largest trading partner [of Ukraine], declined gradually since 2012 (from 24.3% of total trade in 2012 to 12.7% in 2015), mainly due to the introduction of illegal and discriminatory trade restrictions, and the loss of trade for Ukraine amounted to about $98 billion," the ministry said in a report devoted to the revision of the Ukrainian trade policy within the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Ukraine has been a member of the WTO since May 16, 2008. In 2016, Ukraine is undergoing the revision of its trade policy for the first time after in became part of WTO. Under the program, Kiev and the WTO Secretariat are due to present their detailed reports related to the major spheres of the Ukrainian economy.
Ukraine is sustaining losses in trade as its relations with Russia deteriorated sharply in 2014 over Crimea's reunification with Russia and the escalation of violence in Ukraine's southeast between Kiev forces and local pro-independence movement. The West accuses Moscow of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs and escalating the armed conflict in the east of the country, while Russia denies the allegations.
In late 2015, Russia, the European Commission and Ukraine failed to reach an agreement on the EU-Ukraine free trade deal. The Russian side said that unless the agreement was reached by the end of the year, Russia was likely to introduce economic restrictions against Ukraine, thus, in the beginning of 2016, Moscow prohibited import of food and transit of Ukrainian commodities through its territory.
Source: Sputnik - Russian news agency