Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending a free trade zone with Ukraine. The decree is due to take effect as of January 1, 2016, says a statement posted on the Russian Government’s website.

“Given the exceptional circumstances impacting on the interests and economic security of the Russian Federation and requiring urgent steps to be taken it is hereby ordered that the Free Trade Zone Treaty signed in Saint Petersburg on October 18, 2011, be suspended as of January 1, 2016,” says the decree.

It was reported earlier that Russia threatened to impose a trade embargo against Ukraine as of January 1, 2016, in response to the latter’s joining a free trade zone with the EU. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk promised to reciprocate the move.