Ukraine has started the procedure within the framework of the World Trade Organization to challenge the decision of the Russian Government to impose an embargo on the transit of Ukrainian goods via the Russian territory toward third states, in particular Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
According to the press service of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, since the beginning of the year Ukrainian exports fell by 35.1% due to embargo, while exports to Kazakhstan fell by 45.5%.
”In general, the losses of exports to Kazakhstan in the past year and to Kyrgyzstan in the second half of the year are estimated at $400 million. Further losses will amount to 0.3% of GDP,” the press service said.
The ministry stressed that the decision to start the procedure is a consistent step toward the protection of Ukraine`s interests as well as minimization of negative consequences for the country and its trading partners.
Commenting on the decision, First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv reminded that Ukraine had repeatedly stated the invalidity of the Russian transit embargo.
”Unjustified measures imposed by the Russian Federation do not meet the WTO rules,” the press service of Ministry of Economic Development quoted Kubiv as saying.
In turn, Ukraine Trade Representative Natalia Mykolska noted that Kyiv had repeatedly called on Moscow to cancel the discriminatory decision.
”Ukraine has repeatedly called on the Russian Federation to cancel the unreasonable transit restrictions and restore non-discriminatory, free transit regime for all members of the WTO,” the press service quotes Mykolska.
According to the trade representative, Ukraine represented its position in the WTO, namely at the WTO General Council on February 24 and July 27, 2016, as well as at meetings of the relevant WTO committees. Moreover, the Ukrainian side`s arguments were supported by the delegations of Canada, the U.S., EU, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Korea and Turkey.