At the end of 2020, Russia and Ukraine maintained their trade and economic turnover, despite the “aggressive rhetoric of the Ukrainian authorities,” said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak. He said that last year the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to about $ 10 billion. Mr. Novak also criticized the actions of the Ukrainian authorities in the situation with the head of the political council of the Ukrainian party Opposition Platform For Life (Opposition Platform For Life) Viktor Medvedchuk.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, last year Russia supplied Ukraine with various goods and services for $ 6.7 billion. In particular, Ukraine received about 9 million tons of coal, as well as about 3.5 million tons of oil products. “Moreover, it is in Russia that we have more than 3 million migrants from Ukraine, and they work, earn here and send some of the money they earn to Ukraine. This is also the flow of funds, the relationship between our countries, ”the Deputy Prime Minister said on the air of the Russia-24 TV channel (quoted by RIA Novosti).
According to Mr. Novak, the main buyers of Russian products are large Ukrainian state-owned companies, in particular, Centrenergo and Energoatom. In February 2021, the Russian government blacklisted Centrenergo as part of the expansion of sanctions against Ukraine. The sanctions imply the blocking of funds and property on the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as a ban on the transfer of funds and the withdrawal of capital.
According to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Russian products are also bought by businessmen “close enough” to the Ukrainian authorities. Among them, he named Renat Akhmetov and Igor Kolomoisky. “This does not mean that they are betraying their national interests, because they buy Russian products, pay,” said Mr. Novak (quoted by TASS).
He is convinced that trade and economic relations between Russia and Ukraine should not be used in political interests. Oleksandr Novak also said that he was surprised by the “aggressive rhetoric” of the Ukrainian authorities and, in particular, by their actions against the head of the political council of the OLEZ Viktor Medvedchuk. The politician was suspected of treason and attempted theft of national resources in Crimea, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
“He has always advocated the development of trade and economic cooperation, which, first of all, in the first place, benefits our citizens to improve the quality of life and economic growth in our countries. Despite this situation that is developing between our countries today, I want to emphasize that we have always maintained and maintains trade and economic turnover, ”said Mr. Novak.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy previously expressed concerns that Russia would not renew the contract for the transit of gas to Europe through Ukraine after the launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Kremlin said that the Russian Federation does not plan to refuse transit through the territory of Ukraine even after the expiration of the agreement between the two countries.
Read about how the growth of exports to Europe is related to the timing of the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, read in the publication of Kommersant, “Gazprom will hold back gas for Europe.”