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Ukrainian official: Kiev and Russia need to coordinate actions to make dialogue effective

November 29, 2013, 1:21 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, November 28, 23:16 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and Kiev are equally interested in developing trade and economic relations with the European Union and the recent differences between the two countries is a consequence of poor coordination of joint efforts in this direction, according to Viktor Suslov, Ukraine’s permanent representative at the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).

“At this point, it is vitally important for Russia and Ukraine to meet each other halfway. It is necessary to find mutually acceptable solutions. Ukraine and Russia do not have any serious conflict of interests in their common European integration aspirations,” Suslov said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.

Suslov said that Ukraine and Russia definitely lacked coordination of actions which that was necessary for moving forward towards the introduction of EU regulations and standards so as to avoid extra technical barriers in bilateral trade.

“Ukraine and Russia simply need to intensify their dialogue. Besides, it is absolutely impossible to take any steps which can be interpreted as measures to tighten the trade regime between our countries,” Suslov went on to say.

He explained that any such step, be it real or imaginary, would be used by forces that wanted to drive a wedge in relations between Ukraine and Russia to their own advantage.

Suslov said that the question why Ukraine had suspended the process of signing an association agreement with the European Union had been a source of heated debates in recent days. According to him, it is much more important to understand why Ukraine decided to embark on that path at all if it had a different alternative in the form of a Customs Union membership.

“We should go back to this issue. We can analyze the policy of our countries and find mistakes committed by both sides. However, I believe that the root cause of those problems was that gas and gas prices had been crucial in relations between the two countries in recent years. Those relations were not dominated by the interests of Russia and Ukraine, they were dominated by the interests of certain commercial structures and organizations,” Suslov added.

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