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Ukraine ready to give up free trade with Russia for free trade zone with EU — president

December 17, 2015, 10:16 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Vladimir Putin signed a decree on suspension of the free trade zone treaty with Ukraine as of January 1, 2016 in view of exceptional circumstances, which touch Russia’s interests and economic security
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

BRUSSELS, December 16 /TASS/. Ukraine is ready to give up free trade with Russia for the sake of creating a free trade zone with the European Union, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told a joint briefing with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker on Wednesday.

Ukraine is ready to pay this price for the introduction of a free trade regime with the European Union, Poroshenko said commenting the Russian president’s decree on suspension of the free trade treaty with Ukraine.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on suspension of the free trade zone treaty with Ukraine as of January 1, 2016 in view of exceptional circumstances, which touch Russia’s interests and economic security and require the adoption of immediate measures.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian television channels on December 9 that Russia should end the favourable treatment regime in trade with Ukraine, which is on the verge of gaining associated membership of the European Union, on January 1, 2016.

"They should understand that a period, which we have chosen specially for the purpose of further adjustment of our economies in order to bring the CIS free trade zone rules with the EU rules, will end on January 1. We - the Europeans, Ukraine and Russia - have reached a deal of ‘three’, so to speak," Medvedev said.

For his part, European Council President Donald Tusk told a joint briefing with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday that the Ukraine’s free trade agreement with the EU would lead to Ukraine’s gradual integration into the European market. He promised that the EU would exert every effort to make the free trade agreement with Ukraine come into force smoothly on January 1, 2016.

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