Russia reimposes Ukraine import restrictions

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Russia International trade Ukraine

Russia reimposes Ukraine import restrictions
Russia has placed restrictions on imports of animal products from the Ukraine in what experts describe as the latest step in a “trade war” between the two countries.

The restrictions apply to eight large Ukrainian exporters, which between them send 12,000 tonnes (t) of various kinds of meat to Russia annually.

“Restrictions on the import of livestock products to Russia have been put in place for the following enterprises: Molis Company, Globinsky Maslozavod Company, PJSC Bel Shostka Ukraine, Zaria, Zeus LTD (beef and pork production), LLC Danone Dnipro, JSC Laktalis Nikolaev and CJSC APK-Invest,”​ said a spokesperson from the Federal Service on Surveillance for Consumer rights protection and human well-being (Rospotrebnadzor).

According to experts from the Ministry of Agriculture of Ukraine, the excess 12,000t of meat will now most likely go onto the domestic market, which could increase competition and pressure on manufacturers, who are already facing difficulties.

Trade war

Experts have described the new restrictions as the next step in a so-called “agricultural trade war”​ between Russia and Ukraine, which started in early 2012.

The Customs Union (CU) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan has repeatedly banned imports of milk, meat and some other livestock products from Ukraine this year. Ukraine has responded by introducing similar sanctions on the import of animal products from the CU.
According to political analysts, Russia is using import restrictions to try and force Ukraine to enter the Customs Union.

Ukrainian expert Taras Galyuk believes the country’s livestock industry has suffered US$65m in direct losses as a result of the trade war in 2012. Other experts say this figure could be even higher, and that the trade sanctions imposed by the Russian authorities have contributed to the crisis that Ukraine’s meat industry faced in the first half of this year, which resulted in a fall in production and a rise in prices on the domestic market. The CU has not suffered any economic losses.

However, a representative of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) told​ that the restrictions had been imposed because the Ukrainian exporters did not comply with Russian veterinary standards.

“For each of the companies the restrictions have been imposed on certain grounds. Some plants were using raw materials that did not meet sanitary and veterinary requirements. One company did not have special documents that proved that Ukraine’s veterinary services held control for the production process. At several plants, there has been identified a risk of products being contaminated with solids and mechanical impurities,”​ they said.

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