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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Kazakhstan, Belarus reject Russian plan to raise duties on Ukrainian goods

Although Moscow proposed raising duties on Ukrainian goods within the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, the other two countries rejected the plan at a recent meeting of the Eurasian Economic Commission council.

Russia made its proposal after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the economic portion of the European Union Association Agreement late last month, which established a free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU, according to Russia and India Report.

Ukraine is also a member of the CIS free zone, which includes Russia, and Moscow is reportedly concerned that cheap European goods could enter the country duty-free. Before former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled this winter, Russia had promised to impose protectionist measures with the support of Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Now, with Kazakhstan in the process of joining the World Trade Organization, it does not want Ukraine to block its accession, according to Russia and India Report.

The Customs Union was established in 2009, when dozens of international agreements were adopted and ratified at the presidential and government level. It began operating in Russia and Kazakhstan in 2010, with Belarus signing on in 2011.