KIEV — Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine on July 27. In May 2015, Ukraine suspended the military cooperation agreement with Russia that has been in force since 1993.  .  Following a collapse in mutual trade relations, Ukraine also stopped supplying components used for the manufacture of military equipment by Russia.  In August, Russia announced a ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products from January 2016.  In October 2015, Ukraine banned all direct flights between Ukraine and Russia.  In November 2015, Ukraine closed its airspace to all Russian military and civilian aircraft.  In December 2015, Ukrainian lawmakers voted in favour of a trade embargo against Russia in retaliation for the lifting of the two countries` free trade zone and the ban on food imports, with the EU-Ukraine free trade agreement due to enter into force in January 2016.  From January 2016, Russia will impose tariffs on Ukrainian products because of Ukraine`s accession to the deep and comprehensive free trade area with the EU.
 It has already signed interconnection agreements with Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Poland. It was also expected to sign an interconnection agreement with Slovakia, although it is not certain that the agreement was reached by 30 December. Slovakia itself, as a long-term transit agreement with Gazprom, expires in 2028. In addition, several acute disputes have developed between the two countries. The first was the issue of Crimea, which the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic had managed since 1954. But this was largely resolved by an agreement that allowed Crimea to remain part of Ukraine, provided that its status was maintained in the Autonomous Republic. Five years ago, the Minsk Protocol – also known as Minsk-2 – was signed on 12 February to stop fighting in Ukraine`s eastern Donbass region. However, the 13 conditions of the peace agreement were never properly implemented.
The agreement was signed following a meeting of the parties in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, and is seen by the new Ukrainian government led by President Voïdymy Zelenskiy as an important step in resolving the conflict between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government on Tuesday signed an agreement with pro-Russian separatists, Russia and European observers that will allow local elections to be held in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine. On 11 March, the Crimean Parliament voted and approved, by 78 votes out of 100, the independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol from Ukraine as the Republic of Crimea.  Crimea voted on 16 March in a referendum for the re-election of Russia.  The Republic of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine the next day, requested recognition from the United Nations and requested membership of the Russian Federation.  On the same day, Russia recognized Crimea as a sovereign state.   On 19 March 2014, all Ukrainian armed forces (then besieged at their bases by unmarked soldiers) were withdrawn from Crimea.  On 8 April 2014, an agreement was reached between Russia and Ukraine regarding the repatriation of ships interned to Ukraine and the “removal of an unmentioned number of Ukrainian aircraft seized in Crimea”.  Russia returned 35 ships seized during the annexation of Crimea, but unilaterally suspended the return of Ukrainian navy equipment from Crimea to Ukraine, after Ukraine failed to renew its unilateral ceasefire in the Donbass on 1 July 2014.   16 smaller ships have yet to return to Ukraine.  Gazprom, russia, said the agreements were part of a “large package of measures aimed at restoring the balance of the parties` interests.” Germany and France have played a mediating role between Ukraine and Russia since the signing of a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in 2015, but efforts to implement