Russia and Ukraine Trade Turnover Falls by Two-Thirds

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 28, 2015)

Russian trade turnover with Ukraine fell by around 60 percent in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to a recent study by researchers at the World Trade Center Moscow, news agency RBC reported Wednesday.

Russian exports to Ukraine fell 63.5 percent, from $8.1 billion to $2.9 billion, while imports of Ukrainian goods fell 60 percent from $4 billion to 1.6 billion between January and April of this year.

Trade is expected to continue to fall this year, according to report contributor and head of the All-Russian Scientific Market Research Institute, Andrei Spartak.

“We predict a sharp fall in 2015. A turning point in this tendency is only possibly in 2017-18,” said Spartak, RBC reported.

Trade between Russia and Ukraine began shrinking last year when relations between the two countries drastically worsened after the February overthrow of Moscow-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych’s ouster was then followed by Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and armed conflict between Kiev and Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east.

Russia’s total foreign trade turnover dropped 41.8 percent during the first four months of 2015 to $54.1 billion, RBC reported, citing data from Russia’s Federal Customs Service included in the World Trade Center’s report. Russian exports dropped 35.2 percent to $110.4 billion against $170.4 billion last year as low oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis tightened access to financing.