After the Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and the EU took effect, Russia, quite expectedly, introduced a trade embargo against Ukraine and illegally withdrew from a free trade zone.

Here is how Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk commented on the situation:

“This is what we are going to do: Ukraine is withdrawing from a free trade zone with the Russian Federation, increasing custom duties on all Russian goods and introducing an embargo on food products, as well as machinery and railroad cars produced in the Russian Federation. We are taking reciprocal steps. We are not the ones who started this war. But the aggressor will be punished,” said the Ukrainian Prime Minister.

According to Yatsenyuk, the Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and the EU ‘is exactly the kind of agreement millions of Ukrainians fought for at the Maidan’.

Yatsenuk went on to say that the Free Trade Agreement means primarily a duty-free sale of Ukrainian products in the EU and vice versa.

“This is competition, and that poses a challenge to Ukrainian producers. However, this is primarily a chance for Ukrainian businesses to get stronger, become more competitive and conquer new markets,” Yatsenyuk is quoted as saying by the Ukrainian government’s website.

Arseny Yatsenyuk emphasized that Russia ‘did everything to prevent Ukraine from becoming part of the EU and re-joining its European family’.

“The Yanukovitch government declined to sign the the Freed Trade Agreement with the EU. Millions of Ukrainians took to the street and we won,” Yatsenyuk said.