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KIEV, November 8 (Itar-Tass) - The Ukrainian authorities are doing their utmost to improve trade with Russia, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Friday at a meeting with Ukrainian businessmen.
According to Azarov, trade turnover with Russia has dropped by a fourth since the beginning of the year as compared with the last year’s figures. “Now, it is a determinant month: it is a period of drafting production plans and orders for 2014,” the press service of the government quotes him as saying. “The key problem, which is in the focus of attention of the government and the president, is our trade and economic relations with Russia.
Participants in the meeting noted that as many as 52 percent of products of the Ukrainian machine-building sector are exported to Russia.
“Meanwhile, the situation over decreasing production is becoming ever more serious and it might result in the reduction of a large number of workers and budgetary income loss,” businessmen said. In their words, the most serious situation is in the sectors of transport machine-building, the automotive and chemical industries, metallurgy, pipe production, and the food industry.
President of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Anatoly Kinakh called on the Ukrainian government to elaborate a “clear action plan to minimize the above risks.” “The cabinet of ministers must intensify the negotiating, diplomatic and legal processes concerning the fulfillment of liabilities both with Russia and with other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” he stressed.
Participants in the meeting also focused attention on a wider use of mechanisms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to protect the interests of the Ukrainian economy. “As of now we use less than ten percent of the possibilities of the World Trade Organization,” said Petr Poroshenko, the owner of the Roshen confectionery.