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Ukrainian Prime Minister: Ukraine intends to step up relations with Russia

August 28, 2013, 14:21 UTC+3

Nikolai Azarov called a reality both the EU Association Agreement and cooperation within the Customs Union

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KIEV, August 28 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine intends to step up and improve relations with Russia, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said.

Speaking at a governmental session on Wednesday, Azarov said: “We set the goal and we’re sure that this is not in our interests to draw new demarcation lines.”

Kiev seeks to step up trade relations with the Customs Union in the future. “The fact that the Customs Union was created is a reality. This union will reach a new level in its development. We consider this a reality as well,” Azarov said.

At the same time, he noted that the future signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union and the creation of a free trade zone should be also interpreted as a reality. “They should not be opposed,” the premier added.

He said Ukraine was ready to join certain agreements of the Customs Union. “The free trade zone with the EU envisions 10 years of transition period. Both Ukraine and Russia have experience to work with European partners. Thus, the efforts to bring closer our positions can be successful,” the premier said.

Last Monday Azarov made a working visit to Russia for talks with his Russian colleague Dmitry Medvedev and the leaders of ministries and agencies that are in charge of trade and economic relations.

“The partners should specify their positions at different stages. It is clear that every party should be based on its benefit and risks,” Azarov said.

During the talks, both parties confirmed that it was senseless to build any artificial barriers. “That is why Ukraine and Russia joined the World Trade Organisation,” Azarov said.

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