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MOSCOW, August 15 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian government said it had made no decision to regulate import from Ukraine and voiced concern about the situation on the border between the two countries, which has a negative impact on bilateral trade and economic relations.
“The government is concerned about the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border because it affects trade and economic relations. But this was the decision of the customs bodies. No decisions to regulate import from Ukraine were made at the government level,” the press service of the Russian government said on Thursday, August 15.
The Federation of Ukrainian Employers has expressed serious concern about the problems being experienced by Ukrainian businesses following Russia’s decision to tighten customs control for all Ukrainian exporters without exception, which causes vehicles to spend more time in waiting lines on the border and results in greater costs or failure to deliver goods on time.
The Federation urged Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov to “help settle [the problems] at the government level as soon as possible.”
In reply Azarov said there was no reason to dramatize the situation. “There are problems, but they must not be blown out of proportion,” he said during a working trip to the eastern Lugansk region.
He expressed hope that they could be solved if Ukraine and Russia coordinated their positions. At the same time, the prime minister admitted that this was no easy work but said he was confident that it would yield positive results.
Azarov again warned against attempts to compare Ukraine’s cooperation with the European Union with its relations with the Customs Union as contrasting or contradicting each other. “We have no alternative. We will develop cooperation with both Europe and Customs Union countries,” he said.
He believes that Ukrainian business should take more active steps to reconcile customs regulations of the Customs Union and Ukraine. “We are experiencing certain problems relating the creation and structuring of the Customs Union, and there are differences in approaches. This is why it is extremely important now to invigorate and continue our cooperation with the Customs Union countries, especially where it concerns reconciliation of technical regulations, agreements and customs procedures,” Azarov said.
He said active work is underway to address these issues and noted that Ukraine’s representative to the Customs Union Viktor Suslov would soon get down to work to deal with the questions that cause disagreements between Ukraine and the Customs Union.
Azarov urged Ukrainian mass media not to hype ostensible trade complications between Ukraine and the Customs Union. “We do have problems, but they must not be blown out of proportion. The solution lies in better coordination of our positions. This is not easy work but it will yield results. This is our deep conviction,” he said.