By Kamila Aliyeva
Russia's foreign trade turnover with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan increased by more than 30 percent in 2017, according to the data of the Federal Customs Service (FCS) of the Russian Federation, Central Asian media outlets reported.
Over the year, trade volumes went up almost with all CIS countries. This figure showed an increase with Azerbaijan (by 34.5 percent), Uzbekistan (by 33.9 percent), and Kyrgyzstan (by 31.6 percent).
Belarus remains the main trading partner among the CIS countries. By the end of the year, trade with it increased by 26 percent to $30.2 billion. Export volumes grew by 29.2 percent to $18.4 billion, while imports - by 21.2 percent to $11.8 billion.
Kazakhstan is Russia’s second largest trading partner among the CIS countries. The foreign trade turnover between the two states increased by 30 percent up to $17.2 billion following 2017. Kazakhstan purchases metals, oil, machinery and equipment from Russia, and, in exchange, transports oil products, rolled metal, copper, inorganic chemicals.
Trade with Ukraine deserves special attention. Despite the multitude of existing mutual prohibitions and withdrawal from the free trade zone within the CIS, trade with Ukrainians this year showed a very impressive growth, increasing by a quarter compared to 2016, up to $12.9 billion.
The only exception was Turkmenistan. During the year, trade with this country dropped to extremely low levels. The foreign trade turnover amounted to $428 million, showing a decrease of 52.5 percent. At the same time, exports fell by 30.7 percent to $343.8 million, and imports - by 74.5 percent to a modest $84.4 million. The sharp drop in imports touched, first of all, the supply of plastics, mineral fuel and textiles.
Overall, foreign trade turnover with the CIS countries amounted to $72.3 billion in 2017, thus having increased by 25.8 percent compared to 2016. Exports volumes went up by 26.3 percent to $72.3 billion, and imports - by 24.9 percent to $24.5 billion.
Growth is associated with a growth in prices for mineral products, which is a key commodity in trade with Russia’s partners. However, the increase in production, the recovery of the economy and the strengthening of exchange rates after last year's failure - all these trends were typical not only for Russia, but also for its neighbors – contributed to the general situation in trade relations.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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