ST. PETERSBURG, June 4 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and the European Union are failing to reach a compromise on a new Russia-EU partnership agreement because of additional requirements set up by the European Union. However, the sides hear each other and are ready to search for solution, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference on results of the recent Russia-EU summit on Monday.
Putin said that Russia’s European partners were setting new requirements which were going beyond the commitments which Russia took when it was joining the WTO.
“We cannot agree to these proposals so far,” the president said. He explained that the move would have given the European Union an advantage over other countries with which Russia cooperates.
Putin also denied allegations that Russia’s accession to the WTO was posing a threat to the Russian economy.
“We are well aware about risks existing for separate branches of industry but the WTO has instruments whose application will help us to minimize these risks. Besides, we’ve agreed on a transitional period for some sectors and will be switching over to the WTO requirements gradually,” Putin went on to say.
“But this is a serious matter which calls for government attention,” the president said.
Putin also noted that he saw no contradiction between Russia’s accession to the WTO and cooperation within the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.
“We signed those documents in full compliance with the WTO principles,” Putin said. He added that other members of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space had accepted the rules and terms of Russia’s accession to the WTO.