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Ukraine is not planning to amend the text of the association agreement with the European Union, Petro Poroshenko has stated on Friday.
“No changes or exclusions will be made from the text adopted on July 28,” Poroshenko said at a meeting with the EU outgoing President Jose Manuel Barroso.
“The agreement is ready and proofread. I am going to sign it and send to parliament on Monday. It will take effect on November 1,” Poroshenko said.
The Ukrainian president said the next week would be decisive for the agreement’s future.
He promised to present a programme of reforms as part of steps to implement the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement on September 18 immediately upon his return from a trip to the United States.
Poroshenko said that he and Jose Manuel Barroso had discussed the possibility of rendering financial assistance to Ukraine and creating an integrated free trade economic zone.
Barroso confirmed the EU readiness to allocate 1.6 billion euro to Ukraine as part of the EU aid programme.
“We also discussed a possibility of postponing the reduction of customs rates for European goods imported by Ukraine,” Poroshenko went on to say.
A visa-free regime was also an item on the agenda.
“An EU mission is travelling to Ukraine on Monday to check how Ukraine is implementing commitments to introduce a visa-free regime,” the Ukrainian president said.
Earlier on Friday, Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev warned that Russia would take symmetrical protectionist measures against Ukraine, if the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which is due to come into force on November 1, takes no account of Russia’s interests.
Ulyukayev had arrived in Brussels to discuss the possibility of altering the Appendix to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement with his European and Ukrainian partners.
“We are not going to take any adequate symmetrical measures if our partners heed to our concerns. If the ratification takes place on September 17-18, the agreement will consequently take effect on November 1, 2014. If it comes into force with all the provisions arousing our concern, we will retaliate with symmetrical measures on the same date. We have already warned our partners of the moves we are going to take,” Ulyukayev said.
According to Ulyukayev, the Russian government will draw up a draft resolution on introduction of protectionist measures in part of the most favoured nation status for Ukraine against 144 ranges of goods or approximately one fourth of trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine.
In addition to that, Russia is going to introduce measures of customs administration.
“We are going to be extremely attentive in checking the origin of goods, which are going to enter Russia from Ukraine. We will also introduce additional administrative measures of sanitary control,” Ulyukayev added.
At the same time, the Russian economic development minister said that Russia was still ready to search for compromise solutions.
“We would like to find a way out of this difficult situation. That, in our view, will remove the concerns of Russian business in part of technical regulation, sanitary and phyto-sanitary control, customs regulation and the ranges of goods,” Ulyukayev explained. He said he expected his partners from Ukraine and the European Union to show more flexibility and mutual understanding.