KHARKOV, November 1 (Itar-Tass) - The Association Agreement with the European Union, when signed, will have negative economic anf legal impacts on Ukraine, leader of the Ukrainian Choice public organization Viktor Medvedchuk said on Friday at an international forum dedicated to possible impacts of that agreement on the Ukrainian industrial sector.
“As a matter of fact, the process of serious discussion of the consequences of this step has started only now,” he said. “It is no longer welcomed by all, words about the “civilizational choice” and “brilliant future” are no longer as loud as they used to be. When the agreement is signed, Ukraine’s weaker economy will fall into a position of dependence on a stronger economy of the European Union.” In this connection, he singled out two groups of risks Ukraine might face, namely isolation of Ukraine’s economy from its partners in the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan], and colossal expenses that will be needed to introduce more than 20,000 European standards in the Ukrainian industrial and agricultural sectors. “The government estimates such expenses at 160 billion U.S. dollars in a period of ten years,” he noted. “But where can we take this money? All these expenses will be a burden for businesses.”
Signing the Association Agreement with the European Union, “Ukraine loses its chance to join the Customs Union and hence loses privileges, such as lower gas prices, and privileges fixed in the free trade agreement,” Medvedchuk noted. The Ukrainian economy, in his words, is already having negative impacts: trade turnover with Russia might drop by 25 percent by the end of this year. He specially stressed that in case of signing the Association Agreement with the European Union, Ukraine would lose a chance to establish a gas transport consortium with Russia.
As for legal consequences of the Association Agreement, he noted that the signing of this agreement would violate nine provisions of the Ukrainian constitution. Apart from that, this agreement runs counter to article 13 of the Ukrainian-Russian treaty. “Consequences of the signing of this agreement are extremely negative from both economic and legal points of view,” Medvedchuk stressed.