Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan to discuss trade barriers for Ukraine

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Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh deputy prime ministers will attempt to work out a consolidated stance on Monday with regard to the upcoming signing by Ukraine of an association agreement with the European Union, due next week. Discussions will take place within the framework of the trilateral Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the Russian Business Channel TV reports, quoting a source close to the EEC.

The sides will consider an appropriate response in line with the existing treaty on a common customs space within the CIS, which allows for the cancellation of a free trade status Ukraine currently enjoys as well as higher customs duties.

“These aren’t sanctions or discrimination, but just a return to the level that exists for third countries,” the source said, adding that the above measures would be put in place in case of a sharp increase in Ukrainian imports or the smuggling of goods from third countries.

The meeting will look into what exactly customs duties for Ukraine will be like, whether all of them will be raised or it will be done on a selective basis.

The risks are high that certain goods, including vegetable oil, dairy products, meat, household appliances, clothing, footwear, toys and computer components may be smuggled.

The political part of the EU-Ukraine association treaty was signed in April. Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko is planning to sign the economic part of the deal in Brussels on June 27.

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