KIEV, Ukraine – Ukrainian politicians are accusing Russia of waging a trade war as a way to pressure the country against signing a cooperation pact with the European Union.
Late last month Russia banned popular Ukrainian confectionary products from its stores, citing safety concerns. This week, Moscow imposed tough restrictions on scores of other products.
Ukraine's government has shied from openly criticizing Russia, a big trade partner, but a business group says the restrictions amounted to a "complete halt of Ukrainian exports." Hundreds of cargo train cars were reportedly stuck at the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Ukrainian opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday "this trade war has reached a threatening scale." Analysts see the move as an ill-disguised threat aimed at dissuading Kiev from signing a free-trade and political association agreement with the EU.