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Ukraine suffers losses as trade with Customs Union declines

August 14, 2013, 13:07 UTC+3

"We cannot allow the loss of markets for our goods and services in the Customs Union’s countries," Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said

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KIEV, August 14 (Itar-Tass) - Getting ready to sign an association agreement with the European Union, Ukraine must avoid weakening of the Eurasian vector in its foreign policy, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Wednesday.

“We cannot allow the loss of markets for our goods and services in the Customs Union’s countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan),” the prime minister said at a session of the Cabinet of Ministers. “Certain negative trends are already seen,” he added.

“Ukraine is suffering losses as amounts of mutual trade in goods and services decline,” Azarov said.

He stressed that the signing of the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union “does not prevent the deepening of ties with the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation which is part of a larger CIS zone of free trade”.

He told the session that he had issued instructions to analyze the consequences of signing of the associated agreement for the development of cooperation between enterprises of Ukraine and Customs Union member countries. These findings would soon be ready, he said, adding that they concerned, in particular “the implementation of cooperation programs and agreements in the space, machine-building, aviation, defense and other industrial sectors”.

He also gave instructions to the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade and the Foreign Ministry to speed up work on concrete proposals as to Ukraine’s joining certain agreements and technical regulations of the Customs Union.

“I also offer to consider the expediency of Ukraine’s participation in the activity of the Eurasian Development Bank. All possibilities must be used for the growth of Ukraine’ economy,” the prime minister said.

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