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Moscow Slaps Sanctions on Ukraine

Despite icy relations, economic ties remain tight, with Russia now Ukraine’s biggest trading partner.

1 November 2018

Russia has imposed sanctions on hundreds of Ukrainian companies and individuals.


Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev today signed a decree President Vladimir Putin (pictured) issued in late October calling for new sanctions against Ukraine "in response to Ukraine’s unfriendly actions, related to the introduction of restrictive measures against citizens and legal entities of the Russian Federation," The Moscow Times reports.


Earlier this year, Kyiv froze the Russian assets of a number of Ukrainian businesses and individuals.


Despite the sanctions and almost five years of icy relations since Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting Ukrainian separatists, Russia remains Ukraine’s largest trading partner.


The Russian decree imposes sanctions on 322 individuals and 68 companies, mostly chemical and mining enterprises, TASS reports.


Putin has also warned of consequences from the growing rift between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches.


"I want to stress one thing: Political maneuvering in this sensitive area will always lead to the most serious of consequences, especially for those who do it," Putin told a gathering of the Russian diaspora in Moscow yesterday, RFE/RL reports.


Last month the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the highest spiritual authority in the Orthodox world, recognized the Ukrainian church as fully autonomous, angering the Russian Orthodox hierarchy.


The Russian Orthodox Church quickly announced that it would cut ties with the Istanbul-based Patriarchy, RFE says.



  • Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Petro Poroshenko’s son Alexei are among the individuals hit by the sanctions. Others include Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the head of the state energy company Naftogaz, the chief of the general staff, and the prosecutor general, TASS reports.


  • Trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine rose 25 percent in 2017 to $12.9 billion, marking the first annual rise since 2012, TASS says, citing figures from the Russian Federal Customs Service.


  • Trade turnover peaked in 2011 at $50 billion before stalling, then plummeting to a 2016 low of $10 billion.


  • Trade fell further when Russia retaliated after Ukraine entered a free trade agreement with the European Union in 2016, The Moscow Times reported in February.


  • Russian exports to Ukraine rose by 40 percent last year. Ukrainian exports to Russia rose to $3.9 billion, making Russia Ukraine’s biggest trading partner.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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