MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Ukraine has banned all imports from Russia, one of its main pre-war trading partners with annual imports valued at around $6 billion, and called on other countries to follow and to impose tougher economic sanctions on Moscow.

“Today we officially announced the complete cessation of trade in goods with the aggressor state,” Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday.

“From now on, no products from the Russian Federation may be imported into the territory of our state.”

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, trade in goods and services between the two neighboring countries has been virtually non-existent, but Saturday’s decision makes stopping imports law.

“The enemy’s budget will not receive these funds, which will reduce its potential for financing the war,” Svyrydenko said.

“Such a step by Ukraine can serve as an example to our Western partners and encourage them to strengthen sanctions against Russia, including the implementation of the energy embargo and the isolation of all Russian banks. .

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has repeatedly called on the West to boycott Russian oil and other exports and suspend exports to Russia because of its military assault.

The West has imposed numerous measures on Russia that have already isolated Moscow to a degree never before seen by such a large economy and on Saturday British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said more sanctions were to come.

(Reporting and writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Michael Perry)

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