Russia, Ukraine to Boost Trade in 2014 – Premiers

MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Ukraine will work to boost trade and economic relations over the next year, the nations’ prime ministers said at a bilateral meeting Tuesday.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted that trade with Ukraine has declined over recent years to the point where it has been dominated by Belarus in trade with Russia for the first time in post-Soviet history.
“Therefore, it is important to restore trade and economic cooperation and investment,” he said at the meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.
Azarov said Ukraine would strive to restore bilateral trade with Russia to its 2011 levels of about $50 billion.
Trade between the two nations slumped this year after Moscow tightened customs rules, banned products from a major Ukrainian confectioner, and twice temporarily halted imports of Ukrainian goods altogether. Many saw the changes as the start of a trade war to deter the former Soviet nation from signing a trade agreement with the European Union.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, however, suddenly abandoned the long-anticipated EU deal in favor of strengthening ties with Russia in November, sparking a wave of anti-government protest and political instability that is still ongoing in Kiev.

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