Russian President Vladimir Putin walks prior to a State Council meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on December 27, 2016. (AFP PHOTO)
KIEV, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Ministry said on Monday it has initiated World Trade Organization (WTO) proceedings against Russia's transit restrictions on Ukrainian goods.
In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said the transit ban, imposed by Russia starting from Jan. 1, 2016, has significantly affected trade between Ukraine and some Asian countries.
In 2016, Ukraine's exports to the countries in Central and Eastern Asia have fallen by 38.3 percent year on year, causing a loss of at least 400 million U.S. dollars to the East European country, the statement said.
Commenting on the case, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia will apply legal methods established by international law to protect itself during the WTO proceedings.
Moscow has imposed some restrictions on the automobile and railway transit of goods from Ukraine via Russia and suspended the bilateral free-trade agreement in response to Kiev's joining a free-trade area with the European Union on Jan. 1, 2016.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern that Ukraine's trade pact with Brussels may flood Russian market with duty-free European goods.