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Ukrainian Justice Minister says association deal with EU doesn't advert Constitution

August 07, 2013, 15:42 UTC+3
“The draft agreement complies with Ukraine’s legislation and Constitution and can be signed and we want this to happen,” Lukash said
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

KIEV, August 7 (Itar-Tass) - A draft association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union meets provisions of Ukraine’s legislation and Constitution, Justice Minister Elena Lukash told reporters on Wednesday.

“The draft agreement complies with Ukraine’s legislation and Constitution and can be signed and we want this to happen,” Lukash said. “Any statements saying that the draft does not conform to the legislation and the Constitution are groundless and senseless.”

On Tuesday the deputy head of the Party of Regions’ parliamentary faction, Oleg Tsarev, said in an interview with Forbes Ukraine that six provisions of Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU contradict the country’s Constitution.

“A law firm’s conclusion proves that six provisions of an association agreement run contrary to Ukraine’s Constitution. If a group of MPs from the Party of Regions files an address to the Constitutional Court, it will pronounce a verdict saying that an agreement with the EU is unconstitutional,” he said expressing confidence that “communists will eagerly sign this address to a court.”

“This does not mean that Ukraine will be unable to sign an association agreement with the EU. It will be able to do so, but only after relevant amendments are introduced in the Constitution, and this is not a fast process,” Tsarev said.

He also expressed an opinion that an association agreement with the EU would prevent Ukraine from getting a credit swap from Russia. “If we abandon an association agreement with the EU, Russia will propose to open a credit swap for Ukraine,” Tsarev said. “What does this mean? For instance, Ukraine transfers 15 billion dollars in hrivna equivalent to Russia, while Russia gives back Ukraine the same sum in roubles. Ukraine will be able to use these roubles to pay for gas supplies keeping other currency. There will be no need to pay interest rates on this loan.”

Ukraine plans to sign an association agreement with the European Union at the Eastern Partnership summit in Lithuania’s Vilnius in November.

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