Ukraine FTA: Russia, the European Union and Ukraine are scheduled to hold talks in Brussels today which are widely been viewed as the last chance to avert Russia’s threat to suspend Ukraine’s FTA with the CIS as soon as Kiev enters into a similar arrangement with the European Union at the beginning of next year.
Russia will be represented at the meeting by Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, the EU by Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Ukraine by Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. At the end of October, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Ukraine could not take part in two free trade zones concurrently and Russian officials have prepared a package of measures that will be implemented if no compromise emerges after today’s talks.
According to Kommersant country’s removal from the FTA could deliver a serious blow to its pipe manufacturers as their exports to Russia will be subject to a further 5-10% in customs duty on top of the 19.9% anti-dumping tariffs they are already subject to. In 2011, pipe imports from Ukraine were worth $1bn but have fallen sharply since then and any additional fees see the end of the sector’s trade with Russia.