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31 October, 2013 23:31   ▪  

The New York Times: a chocolate wall has descended across the continent of Europe.

The Ukranian chocolate factory shares a problem with many businesses in the countries that lie between the European Union and Russia. It is caught in a no-man’s land for trade, a place increasingly precarious as each side tries to recruit countries into exclusive trade deals, The New York Times reports.

“The output of the sprawling brick factory, formerly known as the Karl Marx chocolate works, has never before been so hard to sell in Russia. Since July, when Russian regulators banned all chocolate, cake, cookie and candy imports from its Ukrainian parent company, Roshen, ostensibly over health concerns, production at the plant here has plummeted 14 percent,” NYT says.

The company, one of Eastern Europe’s largest candy makers, had sales of $1.2 billion in 2012, up from $1 billion the year before. The company exports 320 different types of candies to 30 countries, but specializes in treats preferred by residents of the former Soviet Union.

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“The Ukranian chocolate factory shares a problem with many businesses in the countries that lie between the European Union and Russia. It is caught in a no-man’s land for trade, a place increasingly precarious as each side tries to recruit countries into exclusive trade deals. The European Union wants Ukraine and Moldova to sign so-called Association Agreements while Russia wants these nations in its Customs Union,” NYT admits

“The zone separating the European Union from the Russian-backed Customs Union, a mini-rival trade bloc, has become a hazard for businesses, as the case of Roshen indicates. The ban on Roshen chocolates is widely understood to have resulted from its owner, Petro Poroshenko, advocating for Ukraine’s integration with the European Union, rather than the Customs Union,” NYT underscores.

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