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Kazakhstan officially denies intent to restrict Russian imports

19 february 2015, 02:11
Bakytzhan Sagintayev. Photo courtey of ortcom.kz
Bakytzhan Sagintayev. Photo courtey of ortcom.kz

First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev has officially refuted the reports suggesting that the largest Central Asian economy was intending to ban or limit imports from Russia, Tengrinews reports citing RIA Novosti.

“No, this is not so, we are not going to (limit the imports from Russia),” Sagintayev said in Moscow on 9 February during the opening of the first Eurasian Intergovernmental Council.

Kommersant wrote that Friday with a reference to a source in the Russian Ministry of Agriculture that Kazakhstan may prohibit or limit the supply of some goods from Russia due to the devaluation of the ruble and the inability of Kazakhstani producers to compete with cheap Russian goods.

Later, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov told the reporters that such assumptions were a misunderstanding.

In the meanwhile a Kazakh financial analyst Olzhas Khudaibergnov, Director at the Center for Macroeconomic Research, said the situation was "pushing Kazakhstan to reintroduce customs checkpoints at the Russian border". He added that such a move would only be welcome given the critical situation the Kazakh market was in.

According to Forbes.kz, the Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Andrey Slepnyov said that the issue of Russian imports to Kazakhstan was put on the agenda of a bilateral meeting.

"The Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation are holding consultations on the possibility to restricting imports of certain food products that has seen a sharp increase in deliveries to the Kazakh market due to the devaluation of the ruble," the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan said.

The Ministry pointed out that Article 29 of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty provides for the possibility of exempting certain goods from the rules of the internal market. According to Forbes.kz, the Ministry said that Kazakhstan could introduce limitations, increase the volumes of state support to the local producers and assist in the marketing of products.

Among the Russian goods that allegedly threaten the domestic Kazakh market are petroleum products, vehicles and batteries for them, building fittings, cables and wires, glass, chicken meat and eggs, pasta and confectionery products, flour and juices.

By Dinara Urazova

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