MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Tuesday barred confectionery imports from Ukrainian firm Roshen citing health concerns, the latest in a string of trade restrictions on both sides.
Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement on Tuesday it had found a carcinogenic substance in Roshen's chocolate and was barring imports of all products made at four of Roshen's Ukrainian plants.
Earlier this month, Russia said it planned to levy additional duties on imports of Ukrainian chocolate, coal and glass in retaliation for a Ukrainian emergency import tax on cars which is likely to hurt Russian producers, among others.
Ukraine says it has imposed the emergency car tax in March under the World Trade Organisation's "safeguard" rules, which allow countries to protect a sector if there is a threat of serious damage to producers from a surge in imports.
However, a number of WTO members, including the European Union, have accused Ukraine of breaking the global trade club's rules.
Russia is the largest consumer of Ukrainian exports and Moscow has long urged Kiev to join its own regional trade bloc, the Customs Union which also includes ex-Soviet republics Belarus and Kazakhstan.
But Ukraine, which hopes to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union in November, has repeatedly turned down such offers because the two trade deals are mutually exclusive.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated the offer when he visited Ukraine last week and said that trade turnover between the two nations had fallen by 18 percent in the first quarter of this year.
(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov in Kiev; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)
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