BRUSSELS, December 9. /TASS/. The free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine "will come into force on January 1 without any alterations" requested by the Russian Federation, Vice-President of the European Commission (EC) Andrus Ansip said after expert consultations between the EC, Russia and Ukraine on trade Wednesday.
"The text of the agreement will not have any legal amendments. It will come into force on January 1, 2016," he said.
He did not specify when the next trilateral ministerial meeting on trade will be held in order to resolve Russia’s concerns about parallel operation of free trade regimes between Ukraine and the EC and Ukraine and Russia.
Earlier sources in Brussels and Kiev told TASS that the Russian Federation had offered a number of changes into the EU-Ukraine agreement on free trade so that particularly Russia’s restrictions on supplies of agricultural products from the European Union were taken into account. Russia also suggested making exceptions regarding supplies of a number of other goods, which are currently enjoying duty-free regime within the CIS, Ukraine being part of it, while starting from January 1 duty-free regulations of import from the EU to Ukraine will cover them as well.
Amid this environment Russia says massive re-export of European products via the Ukrainian territory as a staging area may start next year. In order to prevent it Moscow may lift duty-free trade regime with Ukraine on January 1 in case it fails to resolve the issue through negotiations within trilateral consultations, which have been underway for already 15 months without any effect.