Instead, Onishchenko's announcement, which he has been mulling for most of July, is likely to return bilateral ties between the two neighbors back to its
usual combative stance.
Some are interpreting the brewing "chocolate war" as payback for Ukraine's decision to impose a special customs duty on cars imported from Russia.
Kyiv has also opted to back the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a trade dispute with Russia over a recycling tax imposed on used foreign automobiles.
Russia, angered by Ukraine's defiance, earlier this month announced retaliatory customs fees on imports of Ukrainian coal, chocolate, and glass.
But, in an interview with Russia's Dozhd-TV, Anton Onufrienko, business editor of Komersant-Ukraina, maintained that few expected the dispute to escalate
to the point of an outright candy ban.
"People believe that the exacerbation has to do with the car import tax and the recycling tax, in particular," he said. "Even the [Ukrainian] ministry had
a feeling that the dialogue [with Russia] is gearing precisely toward the understanding that, if the car tax were to be lifted, then Roshen would be spared
problems as well."
Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov addressed the chocolate ban on July 29 by denying that the countries were engaged in a "trade war,"
saying officials were looking into the matter and would issue a statement in the coming days.
Russia is known to employ food-safety issues as a pretext for pressuring regional neighbors during political disputes.
In recent years, Onishchenko has personally announced bans on Moldovan and Georgian wine, Belarusian sugar and milk, and Ukrainian cheese.
Moscow defended each of the bans as a necessary public-health measure. But the decisions also coincided with low ebbs in Russia's relations with its
The 2012 cheese ban, for example, was seen as an attempt by Moscow to use economic blackmail to force Ukraine to compromise on gas issues, trade ties, and
Kyiv's European integration.
The same three topics were on the agenda this weekend as Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the
Onishchenko's announcement may suggest that Putin walked away with fewer concessions than he would have liked.
Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko says the latest claim by Rospotrebnadzor is no accident.
Ohryzko says such moves are only likely to grow in the coming months, as Ukraine looks to sign an Association
Agreement with the EU at November's Vilnius summit -- a move viewed with deep resentment in Moscow.
"In my opinion, there's no such thing as a random coincidence when it comes to Onishchenko's announcements," he said. "After Roshen, there will be
pipelines. After the pipelines, there will be cheese. And after the cheese, there will be something else. This is one and the same line. Furthermore, I'm
afraid that this isn't the end, and the closer we get to the Vilnius summit, the more these threats of 'nonstandard' situations in Ukraine will grow."