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KIEV, October 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The agreement on the zone of free trade with the CIS that Ukraine has signed envisages the conclusion of a treaty on pipeline transport, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on the Inter television channel.
“Why cannot we receive low-price gas from Turkmkenistan?” the Ukrainian prime minister asked rhetorically. “Because we have no right to access the pipeline that runs across Russia.”
Azarov said that the two parties had agreed “we shall get access to the pipeline within six months.”
“For the first time ever we agreed and stated this in the agreement on a free trade zone with the CIS that within six months after that document takes effect a contract on pipeline transport will be concluded,” Azarov said.
He is certain that the free trade zone the agreement provides for is a zone free for 99 percent of goods. All exemptions will be canceled and a timetable for abolishing the exemptions will be drawn up.
As for the World Trade Organization, of which Ukraine is a member, Azarov believes that “the WTO will be able to make claims against Ukraine only if it wishes to join the Customs Union. If these claims prove not very significant ones, and the gains, considerable, then we should give thought to this. If there emerges the need for deciding this economic issue in a referendum, then it may be held,” Azarov said.