Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych discussed bilateral cooperation, including customs clearance of goods at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in a telephone conversation, the Kremlin press service reported.
"President Vladimir Putin has had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The presidents discussed various aspects of bilateral cooperation, including issues concerning customs clearance of goods at the Russian-Ukrainian border," it said.
The Ukrainian presidential press service said Yanukovych expressed his concerns about the processes accompanying customs clearance of goods at the Ukrainian-Russian border.
The two also discussed the bilateral agenda, including the organization of a meeting of the Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission hosted by the two presidents, the Ukrainian presidential press service said.
The Russian government press service told Interfax on Thursday that the decision on suspending imports from Ukraine had been made by the Customs Service, and no such decisions had been made at the governmental level.
"The government is concerned about the current situation [on the Russian-Ukrainian border], as this is affecting our trade and economic ties. But this was a decision by the customs bodies, while no decisions on regulating imports from Ukraine have been made at the governmental level," it said.
The Ukrainian Employers' Federation said on Wednesday that the Russian Customs Service put all Ukrainian importers on the 'high risk' list starting August 14, 2013, which, as the federation sees it, essentially implies the halt of all Ukrainian imports to Russia for an indefinite period.
The federation anticipated exports of Ukrainian goods to Russia to amount to $8.5 billion in the second half of 2013, and now it expects that Ukraine's losses from Russia's actions could reach $2 billion to $2.5 billion.
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