Concerted actions of Customs Union in response to sanctions against Russia are not excluded: Russia’s Foreign Minister09 december 2014, 17:01
Moscow doesn’t rule out that Western sanctions against Russia might be responded to by the Customs Union [of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus], Russia’s RIA Novosti reports, citing Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“The legislation framework of the Customs Union enables its member states to take concerted actions in response to economic pressure exerted on any of the member states by a third party. However, such measures in response to restrictive moves of the West towards Russia are not on the agenda of the Customs Union. However, we don’t exclude that such a necessity might emerge”, Mr. Lavrov said.
“When it comes to Belarus and Kazakhstan respecting their obligation not to allow banned European goods to enter Russia, in the context of a single market it’s quite hard to exclude unconscientious efforts of individual entities willing to cash in on smuggling certain products to Russia. Heads of Belarus and Kazakhstan have assured us that they would be terminating such moves. We have no grounds to doubt their assurances”, Lavrov said.
Relations between Russia and the West have been worsened over the situation in Ukraine. Late July the EU and the USA introduced sanctions against Russia ranging from pinpointed measures against certain individuals and companies to entire sectors of the Russian economy. In response, Moscow restricted imports of foodstuffs from countries introducing sanctions against Russia such as the USA, the EU, Canada, Australia and Norway.