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Russia, EU, Ukraine to hold talks on risks of association agreement

December 21, 2015, 10:24 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
According to analysts, the negotiations are widely seen as the last chance for the parties to reach compromise and avoid Russia’s suspension of a free trade zone agreement with Ukraine
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© EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT

BRUSSELS, December 21. /TASS/. Russia, the European Union and Ukraine are scheduled to hold talks in Brussels on Monday on the enforcement of the economic provisions of Kiev’s association agreement with the EU.

The negotiations are widely seen as the last chance for the parties to reach compromise and avoid Russia’s suspension of a free trade zone agreement with Ukraine, analysts say.

At the meeting, Russia will be represented by Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, the EU by Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Ukraine by Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

Provisions of Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union on the formation of a free trade zone come into effect on January 1, 2016. On October 30, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Ukraine could not take part in two free trade zones concurrently — the one with the European Union and the one within the Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS).

The Russian side has prepared a package of documents if no compromise at talks is found. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in mid-December on suspension of a treaty for creating a free trade zone with Ukraine as of January 1, 2016 in view of exceptional circumstances affecting Russia’s interests and economic security and requiring the adoption of immediate measures.

The Russian government also adopted a resolution this August on introducing customs duties on Ukrainian goods from January 1, 2016.

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