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BRUSSELS, March 3. /TASS/. The EU and Russia agreed to resume trilateral negotiations on the implementation of the EU-Ukraine association agreement in the nearest future, Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev said on Tuesday after the meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Neighborhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hanh.
"We will agree upon time and venue of the next trilateral ministerial meeting in the nearest future," Ulyukayev said.
"We discussed the trilateral agenda of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. In other words, we continued discussing concerns Russia has in respect of certain provisions in the EU-Ukraine association agreement," the minister said.
Russia is concerned of the trade and economic section of the Agreement, technical regulations and requirements of veterinary and phytosanitary supervision, Ulyukayev said.
European partners "confirmed they understand our concerns," the minister added.
Russia will have to protect its market if no changes take place in the implementation process of the EU-Ukraine association agreement, Russian Minister of Economic Development went on to say.
"If our concerns are not addressed, we will have to take measures to protect our economy, particularly by restoration of the tariff protection regime," the minister added.
"The content of the association agreement is the matter of Ukraine and the EU. However, it is our task to safeguard our companies, our business and branches of national economy from potential consequences," Ulyukayev added.
The EU and Russia agreed to gradually transfer their mutual disputes within the WTO framework to the pre-trial level, the minister said.
"We discuss the issue of transferring discussion of these problems from WTO dispute resolution authorities to a pre-trial decisions and consultations level. Both parties confirmed this is the best option," Ulyukayev said.
"I think we will try to follow this route: revoke complaints from the formal review in WTO and reach settlements on a bilateral basis," Ulyukayev added.
WTO member-nations should be confident political moments will not influence their economic relations, Russian Minister of Economic Development said.
"We need to understand to what extent application of economic sanctions due to non-economic reasons is in line with WTO rules," the minister added.
"I raised the issue to what extent application of economic restrictions and sanctions caused by political rather than by economic reasons is in conformity to norms and rules of the World Trade Organization. We will continue discussing this issue. Clarity is needed for all process stakeholders. WTO member-nations should be confident their economic relations would not be challenged some time due to non-economic circumstances," Ulyukayev added.
Negotiations held with the EU in Brussels were "a good start," Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev said.
"It seems to me it was a good start," the minister added commenting on negotiations held with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Neighborhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hanh. The agenda for talks with the trade commissioner was especially difficult. The parties particularly discussed WTO problems, Ulyukayev said.
"We agreed on the possibility of moving forward and resolving at least a portion of trade disputes," the minister said.