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KIEV, March 21. /TASS/. An association agreement with the European Union has proved to be a fatal mistake for Ukraine as it has thrown the country’s economic indices twenty years back, Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement, said on Monday.
"’Achievements’ of supporters of European integration have thrown the country twenty years back. The country’s GDP slumped by more than ten percent in 2015, with inflation reaching 43.3%, a record figure in the past twenty years," he said.
Apart from that, in his words, Ukraine’s partnership with its chief creditor - the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - has place the state under absolute "external management of international loan sharks."
"Ukraine’s sovereign and government-backed debt has reached a record-breaking figure of 1.571 trillion hryvnias (59 billion U.S. dollars), having tripled since the beginning of 2014. The government debt-GDP ratio has reached 79%, given a critical threshold of 60% Notably, two years ago the government debt accounted for only 40.1% of the GDP," Medvedchuk said.
The free trade zone with the European Union, according to Medvedchuk, has not lived up to the expectations of the Ukrainians either. "By mid-March 2016, Ukraine has completely filled its quotas for tax-free exports to Europe of the bulk of its commodity," he said. "The quotas have proved to be so miserably small that even supporters of the idea of a free trade zone with the European Union call Brussels’ handouts of quotas as ‘humiliating and miserable’ and admit that Ukraine has turned into a mere supplier of raw materials."
As a result, Ukrainian exports dropped by 25 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 on 2013, he noted.
Thus, the association agreement with the European Union "has proved to be a fatal mistake for Ukraine," Medvedchuk said. "Instead of plighted European standards, instead of a comprehensive free trade zone with the European Union, Ukrainians are now having a profound crisis and total impoverishment. The single-option choice of the Western integration course has entailed a total collapse - the loss of traditional markets in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), production shrinkage, unemployment growth and catastrophic drop in living standards," he stressed.