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Russian, Ukrainian experts to analyze Ukraine-EU deal — minister

August 27, 2014, 14:28 UTC+3 NAYPYIDAW (Myanmar)
Russia expected to come forward with specific proposals on a possible adjustment of the basic agreement on Ukraine's association with the European Union and the agreement’s supplement by September 12
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© EPA/FRED MARVAU

NAYPYIDAW (Myanmar), August 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Experts from Russia and Ukraine have agreed to meet in Brussels on September 1 to analyze the Ukraine-EU association and free trade deal, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Wednesday.

The minister made the statement after a meeting of the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan that form the Customs Union, EU officials and the Ukrainian president in Minsk on Tuesday. The meeting discussed the consequences of the implementation of the Ukraine-EU association and free trade agreement.

Ulyukayev earlier said the first expert consultations on this issue would be held in Moscow later this week.

The economic development minister said earlier on Wednesday that Russia expected to come forward with specific proposals on a possible adjustment of the basic agreement on Ukraine's association with the European Union and the agreement’s supplement by the ministerial meeting on September 12.

"This refers to specific amendments, which we must introduce into the text of the supplement and, I do not rule it out, into the text of the basic agreement," Ulyukayev said.

Economic assistant to the Russian president Andrei Belousov told journalists he did not rule out that expert consultations might lead to an adjustment of the text of the basic agreement on Ukraine's association with the European Union and the supplement to it.

"Within a short period of time, we shall examine those points of the Ukraine-EU association agreement, which cause concern and pose risks to Russia. We shall seek to find some solutions, up to a possible introduction of alterations to the text of the agreement or to its supplements," Belousov said.

The economic aide also said that "the Ukrainian side may agree to the introduction of amendments to the text of the supplement at least". "This applies to duties and a timeframe - such definite adjustments are possible," Belousov said.

EU-Ukraine association deal implications

The Ukrainian economy’s transition to EU standards will cost it billions of euros over ten years while Russia may lose up to 100 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) from its economy’s forced readjustment, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

“The refusal to use technical norms common in the CIS countries and adaptation to EU standards will cost Ukraine €165 billion within 10 years,” Putin said at a meeting of the leaders of the Customs Union member states, EU officials and the Ukrainian president.

Putin said that Ukraine will lose partnership with the Customs Union member states in a whole number of sectors.

Russia has numerously warned that the obligations, which Kiev will assume in full under the Ukraine-EU association deal for tariff liberalization and the transition to European technical, veterinary and sanitary standards, will inevitably affect the volumes and dynamics of trade and investment cooperation in the Eurasian region, Putin said.

The economies of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will also be affected, Putin said.

“In the most modest estimates, damage to the Russian economy alone may total 100 billion rubles. Entire sectors of our industry and agribusiness will be affected with all ensuing consequences for economic growth rates and employment,” Putin said.

“Losses will also be sustained by Belarus and Kazakhstan,” Putin said.

Estimate of losses from Ukraine-EU association and free trade deal

The Civil Initiative Committee led by former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin earlier gave an estimate of possible losses for Russia and Ukraine, if their trade relations deteriorated.

The estimate suggests that Russia may fall short of $4.5-5 billion worth of export revenues annually while losses in the financial, credit and property spheres are estimated at $45-50 billion, if Ukraine refuses to repay debts to Russia, imposes restrictions on Russian entities’ deposits and seizes Russia’s property.

The Civil Initiative Committee estimates Ukraine’s losses at about $100 billion in 2015-2018, including up to $8 billion a year from smaller money receipts generated by labor migrants in Russia, up to $4.2 billion a year from Russia’s possible refusal to give up pipeline gas transit across Ukraine, up to $3.7 billion a year from the risk of the persistence of high Russian natural gas prices, $2 billion from the risk of falling short of Russian investment, $1.6 billion from the risk of a reduced number of Russian citizens’ trips to Ukraine and $400 million from a possible refusal by Russian companies to provide transportation services jointly with Ukrainian operators.

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