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Putin points out Ukrainians systematically plundered after break-up of USSR

November 21, 2016, 17:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Ukrainian people were systematic robbed after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, which took place regardless of who was in power in that country, the president says

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Woman wearing an Ukrainian flag in Kiev's Independence Square

Woman wearing an Ukrainian flag in Kiev's Independence Square

© AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. The Ukrainian people were systematic robbed after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, which took place regardless of who was in power in that country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said an interview with US Hollywood film director Oliver Stone for his documentary entitled Ukraine on Fire to be aired by the REN TV channel.

Putin focused on the "wild privatization", the pilfering of state property along with the collapse of people’s living standards, which began immediately after Ukraine gained independence. "Moreover, regardless of whoever held the reins of power, nothing changed for the ordinary citizen. The population was systematically robbed, the citizens were fleeced, the Ukrainian people were plundered. Of course, people are tired of this arbitrariness, of this rampant corruption," the Russian president stressed.

Commenting on the situation regarding the signing of the association agreement between Kiev and the EU, Putin stressed that Russia and Ukraine had a unique economic relationship, when Russia’s markets were completely open to Ukrainian goods and customs borders were fully opened. "Therefore, the European Union kind of slipped into our territory with its goods without any negotiations," the Russian leader said referring to Moscow’s concern over drafting the document in 2013. Russia proceeded from the assumption that "if Ukraine decided to do so, that’s its choice." "We respect this choice, but we do not have to pay for this choice," he added.

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