Russia to Hold Talks With Ukraine Over Cross-Border Trade Delays

Russia and Ukraine are to hold talks tomorrow over border controls that have triggered delays in the movement of goods between the two nations.

“Recently arising problems in trade and economy should be resolved on a mutually beneficial, constructive basis, under active legislation,” the Russian government said in an e-mailed statement today after telephone talks between the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Azarov.

Russia’s Federal Customs Service placed Ukrainian exporters in a higher-risk category last week, subjecting their goods to lengthier checks, according to Ukraine’s Employers Federation.

“Trade wars are out of questions in principle,” according to a statement on the Ukrainian government’s website. Customs heads will meet tomorrow, it said.

The delays are related to disagreements with Russia over a customs union, Azarov said last week. Moscow wants Kiev to join a group formed between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Ukraine is seeking to sign a free-trade pact with the European Union in November, a move that would rule out membership of a union.

The longer checks were an isolated incident, state-run news service RIA Novosti said, citing president Vladimir Putin’s adviser Sergei Glazyev, although Russia may tighten controls if Ukraine signs the agreement with the EU.

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