KIEV, February 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is no obstacle to its accession to the Customs Union. The union’s member countries Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are ready to compensate the WTO for the losses that may result from Kiev’s joining the Customs Union, Valery Muntiyan, the Ukrainian government commissioner for cooperation with Russia, CIS countries and Eurasian Economic Community member-states, said on Ukrainian TV.
“If the WTO countries ask for compensations, the countries of the Customs Union are ready to shoulder this burden and share it. The compensations may run to 1.9 billion dollars,” he noted.
Muntiyan also said the economic calculations made earlier show Kiev’s advantages from this integration. ”If Ukraine joins the Customs Union, its GDP will grow by 1.5 percent,” the government commissioner said.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said earlier that the country looks into the union’s work and will decide on the matter of joining the Customs Union in a year or a year and a half. “We will consider variants of the decision of the matter if this is of advantage to us and meets our interests,” he said.