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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chinese Sellers ‘Not Our Job’

Finding new shop space for Chinese traders locked out of Cherkizovsky Market is “not our job,” Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Thursday, a day after a high-level delegation flew in from Beijing for talks.

“Accommodating the trade of our friends from China is not our job,” Luzhkov told a city government meeting on the disabled.

He said the market, which had been closed since June 29 over sanitary and safety violations, would not resume its operations. City Hall is working to find new trading space for vendors who had been selling Russian-made goods at the market, Luzhkov said.

The comments were unlikely to sit well with Chinese officials, led by Deputy Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, who arrived in the capital Wednesday to request that the city do more to accommodate traders left without their goods and jobs after the sprawling bazaar’s closure.

The delegation was scheduled to hold talks Thursday with officials from the Eastern Administrative District, where the 350-hectare market is located, RIA- Novosti reported.

Chinese state media have reported that about 60,000 people from China worked at the market. Vedomosti reported Thursday that 80,000 Chinese lost their jobs because of Cherkizovsky’s closure and about $2 billion in goods have been confiscated.

The market was closed after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for “convictions” relating to a seizure there last year of about $2 billion in supposedly contraband goods from China.

China has said it supports Russia’s efforts to fight smuggling but that the two countries should cooperate on the problem.

n City Hall announced that Luzhkov would skip a trip to Minsk planned for Friday after he injured his leg. He was scheduled to attend the opening of the Moscow House business and cultural center. The press service did not specify the circumstances or nature of Luzhkov’s injury. Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin will make the trip instead.