KIEV, January 9 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade resumes its EU integration policy hot line service for citizens on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Moscow time, the head of the European integration department, Vyacheslav Tsymbal, told Itar-Tass.
This “important” initiative will provide answers to questions regarding “the contents and prospects” of the EU association agreement, Tsynbal said adding the ministry’s experts expected the opportunity would be primarily used by entrepreneurs willing to evaluate the integration’s impact on business conditions in different sectors of the Ukrainian economy.
The hotline will be available for calls once a week, and experts will analyze all incoming suggestions and notes once a month. The work will be primarily regions- oriented, Tsymbal said.
The Ukrainian government initially planned to sign the EU association and free trade zone agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28-29 but a week ahead of the meeting it suspended preparations citing difficult economic conditions. Refusal to sign the deal sparked rallies in Independence Square in the center of Kiev. On December 17 the Russian-Ukrainian interstate commission reached agreements that provided Ukraine with a vast aid program, including a bail-out of $15 billion placed in Ukrainian Eurobonds from the Russian National Wealth Fund and a 33- percent discount for Russian gas, down to $268.5 for 1,000 cubic meters.
In his New Year address to the nation, President Viktor Yanukovich said Ukraine had restored “relations of friendship and brotherhood with Russia” but also continued to ensure “an efficient balance between East and West without giving up our national interests”.