Ukraine plans Russian oil import ban

6th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Tuesday he intended to introduce a ban on oil imports from petro-giant Russia as part of Kiev's trade war with Moscow.

The former Soviet republic has put up stiff barriers against products from Russia in reprisal for its March 2014 annexation of Crimea and alleged support for pro-Moscow separatists who have been waging a two-year war in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has its own wide-ranging trade restrictions against Ukraine that mirror those it imposed on the West in response to punitive measures the United States and EU nations slapped on Russian individuals and state-held firms.

Yatsenyuk told a government meeting that "we have introduced a number of sanctions against Russia. But for some reason, one of the key elements -- the purchase of Russian oil products -- did not make this list."

He asked the economy minister to "develop a mechanism for banning the purchase of oil products from the aggressor, which Russia is."

Kiev accuses Russian forces of fighting alongside the eastern insurgents -- a charge Moscow denies.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Ukraine consumed around 260,000 barrels of oil per day while producing just 66,000 in 2014.

"The remainder was imported mostly from Russia, with smaller volumes originating in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan," the EIA report says.

Yatsenyuk added that he wanted to exclude Russia from proposed legislation eliminating import tariffs on used automobiles.

Relations between the two neighbours have been effectively frozen since Ukraine ousted its pro-Russian leadership in a February 2014 pro-EU revolt.

© 2016 AFP

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