World Economy

Ukraine to Ban Import of Russian Oil Products

Ukraine to Ban Import of Russian Oil ProductsUkraine to Ban Import of Russian Oil Products

Ukraine plans to ban imports of Russian oil products, and to remove import duties on second-hand cars except for Russian ones, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said in a televised cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The announcement is the latest move in an ongoing trade war between Russia and Ukraine that follows Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Reuters reported.

“I am asking the ministry of economy to prepare a mechanism for banning the purchase of petroleum products from the country of the aggressor, which is the Russian Federation,” the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured visiting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday in Tokyo that G7 leaders would discuss Kyiv’s plight at a Japan summit next month.

Ukraine is locked in a bitter conflict with Russia over the seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Kyiv in 2014 and its alleged support of a pro-Russian separatist uprising in the east of the country, World Bulletin reported.

The fighting has claimed the lives of nearly 9,200 people and driven more than 1.5 million from their homes.

“Issues surrounding Ukraine remain among the important issues for the international community,” Abe said at a joint appearance with Poroshenko.

“Japan views this issue seriously, and we plan to thoroughly discuss it at the G7 summit” next month, he added.

Leaders of the Group of Seven or G7, which consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, will gather in western Japan’s Ise-Shima late next month for their annual meeting.

Their foreign ministers are scheduled to hold a two-day meeting in the city of Hiroshima from Sunday.

The group was formerly known as the G8 when Russia participated but Moscow has essentially been kicked out over the seizure of Crimea.

“We agreed that we do not tolerate changes of national borders by force,” Poroshenko said, adding that he thanked Abe for his stance on ensuring Ukraine will be discussed at the summit.

But in spite of supporting Ukraine, Japan has also been trying to improve relations with Russia, long strained by a territorial dispute left over from the closing days of World War II that has prevented the countries from reaching a peace treaty.

At a separate press conference earlier in the day in Tokyo, Poroshenko said that “Japan is a very strong and reliable partner” and expressed confidence that Abe would use any opportunity of a meeting with Putin to push Russia to fulfill ceasefire agreements in Ukraine.