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Ukraine Says to Ban Imports of Some Russian Goods in Trade Row

KIEV — The Ukrainian government will approve a ban on the import of some Russian goods later on Wednesday, said Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, a retaliatory move in a growing trade row between the two former allies.

Yatsenyuk, in televised comments at a cabinet meeting, said the government would also adjust duties on Russian imports, but gave no details.

"For every Russian action, Ukraine will take counter actions and counter measures," said Yatsenyuk.

The trade row ignited earlier this month after the Kremlin said it was suspending a free trade zone with Ukraine because of "extraordinary circumstances affecting the interests and economic security" of Russia, a reference to a free trade pact Kiev had agreed with the European Union.

Moscow said the EU-Ukraine pact, which is due to come into force next month, could lead to a flood of European imports into Russia and make its own exports to Ukraine less competitive.

Kiev has said the trade war with Russia could cost it $600 million next year or about 0.6 percent of its trade turnover.

Ukraine's economy ministry said earlier on Wednesday an import ban on dozens of Russian goods from dog food to locomotives could be imposed as soon as Jan. 10.

It published a list of goods it suggested be targeted including meat and meat products, baby food, chocolate, fish, cheese, coffee, beer, tobacco, alcohol, herbicides, and railway hardware including locomotives.

Controversy surrounding the EU-Ukraine trade deal was the initial trigger for unrest in Kiev, which culminated in the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych, the country's Moscow-backed president in 2014. Russia then annexed Crimea and backed a separatist revolt in eastern Ukraine, steps that led to Moscow's worst standoff with the West in decades.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he regrets Russia's decision to end preferential trade with his country, but says he is "ready to pay the price" for the EU trade accord.

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