Russia President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday to suspend from next Jan. 1 the free trade agreement with Ukraine after the latter decided to impose a trade embargo on the Crimea peninsula.
Putin made this decision "due to exceptional circumstances affecting the interests and economic security of the Russian Federation," Russian media reported.
Thus, in two weeks the agreement, signed in Oct. 2011 for the formation of a free trade zone with Ukraine in the framework of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS, will be canceled.
Russia had warned it would cancel trade preferences with Ukraine if the Kiev government and the European Union did not take into account Russian concerns when starting their association agreement next year.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced on Wednesday that a trade blockade on Crimea will enter into force within 30 days.