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Russia closing borders to Ukraine

On 18 November, the Russian Minister of Economic Affairs, Alexey Ulyukayev, announced that the border between Russia and Ukraine would close from January onwards to all food shipments. This is a response to Ukraine's support for Western sanctions against Russia, reports the Russian news service TASS. At the same time, an agreement between the EU and Ukraine to facilitate trade will come into force.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk expects $ 600 million in damage.

"Given that Ukraine supports the anti-Russian sanctions, both the economic and the financial sanctions, we decided to take protectionist measures in the form of a food embargo," said the Minister.

Ukraine will thus face the same barriers as the EU. Russia fears transit of illicit goods through Ukraine. In August, Prime Minister Medvedev warned that the borders would be closed for Ukrainian products if the country sought closer ties to the EU.

The Russian Government estimated a loss for the Ukrainian economy of 100 billion Rouble ($ 1.5 billion) per year. In Kiev, the Government drew different conclusions. Ukraine believes the losses will amount to $ 600 million in 2016. "We are preparing ourselves for trade restrictions from Russia," stated the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. "We have estimated the potential losses for 2016. We will lose about $ 600 million in exports to Russia." According to the Prime Minister, Ukraine's dependence from Russia dropped from 35 percent to 12.5 percent.

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