Importing products from Russia is problematic.
The self-proclaimed Crimean government acknowledges that it is impossible to supply Crimea with food and consumer products from Russia. This was stated by Nickolai Kochanov, the so-called temporary head of the Russian Federal Tax Service, Crimea division.
“You know that the Kerch ferry situation is complicated, so we are unable to fully supply ourselves with food products and other necessary goods. That’s why talks were held with seven large retail networks. These were Komfi, Foxtrot, Furchet, Fozzi, ATB, Silpo, and Fresh. They are registered in Crimea [despite originating in Ukraine], have Crimean legal status, and all their taxes are paid in the Republic of Crimea,” said Kochanov.
The delivery situation is expected to become even more complicated this autumn since the Kerch ferry is already working at full capacity and, when the autumn and winter storms arrive, it will occasionally have to be shut down.
The unrecognized government also complained that, due to price gouging, the difference between wholesale and retail prices for agricultural products has reached 100-300%. It has been reported that Ukrainian items are currently 50% cheaper than not only Russian products, but also even Crimean goods.
Problems with supplying the peninsula are not likely to be solved until 2018, when the bridge across the Kerch Strait is completed. Remember, the EU Council approved and put into effect new restrictions [sanctions] on trade and investment in Crimea and Sevastopol.
Translated by Kirill Mikhailov, edited by Elizabeth Martin