Ukraine ends dispute with Australia over cigarettes
Ukraine has decided to withdraw from a dispute with Australia over cigarette packaging in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"First, now we have restricted resources and we would like to send them to the direct trade interest of Ukraine. Second, economic logic is absent in this dispute, and third, the dispute has negative consequences for our country," Economic Development and Trade Minister of Ukraine Aivaras Abromavicius said at a press conference with the Cabinet of Ministers on Thursday.
Previously, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said he doubted the appropriateness of a trade dispute with Australia regarding cigarette packaging, which Kyiv has been involved in at the WTO since 2012, and instructed the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to deal with the matter. Yatseniuk said Ukraine allegedly joined this dispute at the request of the American Chamber of Commerce.
He said the dispute began after Australia demanded that cigarettes be produced in unbranded packs which reinforced anti-smoking advertising.
In March 2012, Ukraine turned to the WTO to ask it to hold consultations with Australia regarding the country's decision to ban brands on cigarettes packs. Consultations were held in April of the same year and, according to Kyiv, could not resolve the conflict, therefore a platform became necessary to consider Ukraine's lawsuit against Australia.