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Putin: Russia not against Ukraine’s European integration

December 19, 2013, 12:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia does not come against Ukraine’s European integration, but it will protect its market, President Vladimir Putin told a “grand” news conference on Thursday.

“We’re not against Ukraine’s European integration. We say we’re forced to protect our economy because we can’t ‘keep the doors open’ within the free trade zone with Ukraine,” Putin said.

“If Ukraine opens the doors towards the European Union, we’re forced to cover them,” the president said, adding that Ukraine’s machine-building products would decline because they were mainly realized at the Russian market.

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