Russia may ban car imports if sanctions persist
Moscow - Russia may tighten retaliatory sanctions against Western nations to include a ban on imports of cars, among other things, if the United States and the European Union impose additional sanctions on Moscow, Vedomosti daily newspaper said on Monday.
Following Russia's stand off over Ukraine, Western nations imposed sanctions on Moscow including on its financial and energy sectors, and put dozens of Russians close to President Vladimir Putin on a sanctions list.
Imported vehicles accounted for 27% of sales of passenger cars in the first half of 2014, for trucks imports accounted for 46%, and 13% for buses, according to Vedomosti.
Russia, which denies allegations it, is arming separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, may fully or partly ban imports of cars, the Vedomosti newspaper said, citing sources.
The new ban would not apply to foreign automakers' production inside Russia, the paper said. Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, Toyota and Hyundai all have production facilities inside Russia.
The paper added that proposals for new measures had already been sent to Putin for consideration but that no decision had been taken to prepare any new sanctions yet.
New trade restrictions are possible in the event Western nations impose additional sanctions on Moscow, the paper added.
Russia has imposed a ban on certain agricultural imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.
It has also said the government could introduce protective measures in aircraft, shipbuilding and automotive industries.