Russian Federation imposes retaliatory embargo on Ukrainian products

Minnie Murray
December 31, 2018

Ukraine may lose up to 25% of trade turnover with Russian Federation in 2019 because of Moscow's new sanctions imposed on Kiev, director of energy programs at the Center of World Economy and International Relations at Ukraine's National Academy of Sciences Valentin Zemlyansky told 112 Ukraina TV channel on Sunday.

Merkel and Macron added: "The human rights situation in Crimea, which was annexed by Russian Federation in violation of global law, and the use of military force by Russian Federation in the Straits of Kerch and abusive controls in the Sea of Azov are also a source of great concern to us".

A 2003 Russia-Ukraine treaty gives, in theory, unimpeded access to the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov for both sides.

"They too should be able to celebrate the upcoming festivities with their families", the leaders wrote.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Merkel in a phone call that the sailors were under investigation and were being dealt with in accordance with Russian law, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the news agency RIA.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Ukraine has responded by introducing martial law for 30 days in several parts of the country (districts mostly on its border with Russia) following Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian navy vessels off the coast of Russian-annexed Crimea on Sunday.

The government in Kiev spoke the last of which, the Sailors would have the Status of prisoners of war and should not therefore be condemned. Despite recent tensions with Moscow, the Kyiv government and the rebel officials are preparing for a truce which is set to start at midnight local time on Saturday.

Macron and Merkel on Friday said these "excessive inspections" were a source of "deep concern". You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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