Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Threatens Retaliation Over EU, Ukraine Free-Trade Pact

A woman picks a product from the dairy department of a shop in the far eastern Russian port of Vladivostok. Yuri Maltsev / Reuters

Russia issued a new warning on Monday that it would retaliate if the European Union or Ukraine push ahead with moves to implement a free-trade agreement.

Kiev and Brussels agreed this month to delay implementation of the agreement until Dec. 31, 2015 after Russia threatened to impose import tariffs on Ukrainian goods if it went ahead.

Russia says its economy would be hurt by the free trade deal because it would allow Ukraine to export cheaper European goods to Russia, undercutting local products.

RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Russia was "ready to take measures in response if (implementation of the agreement) is carried out in violation of previously reached agreements."

He gave no details any possible measures.

Russia and the European Union are at loggerheads over Ukraine, where a Moscow-backed president was ousted in February following street protests, three months after he suspended the same pact and said he would boost ties with Russia instead.

Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea after his replacement by a pro-European government in Kiev, and the West accuses Moscow of supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east with weapons and troops. Moscow denies doing so.

The EU hopes that delaying the free-trade pact will give it time to assuage Russian concerns about it. Russia has said it wants three-way negotiations on amending the accord.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more