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Lavrov: RF-Ukraine agreements of advantage for close ties, production cooperation

December 19, 2013, 22:42 UTC+3 WARSAW
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WARSAW, December 19, 22:32 /ITAR-TASS/. The words in Brussels regarding Ukraine can be described as dictat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the talks with his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski.

“We say, also through top Russian leaders, that we will accept any choice Ukraine makes,” Lavrov stressed. “But let it make this choice. We only say that if this choice contrasts with Ukraine’s obligations under the free trade zone for which Ukraine made the initiative and finally created in the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the most-favoured nation treatment will be given to Ukrainian goods, and nothing more.” “The benefits of the free trade zone will automatically stop,” he said. “Ukraine must make its choice and we will respect any choice it makes,” he said.

“Quite different words sounded in Brussels all the while,” Lavrov said. “Ukraine was being urged to make a free choice in favour of signing the association agreement with the EU.” “But this is no choice, this looks like dictat,” Lavrov said.

“And another thing. Has anyone considered what would happen if government buildings were illegally held for about a month in some European Union country,” Lavrov queried. “This is what happens in Ukraine, and how is it possible to talk about peaceful protesters against this background? Not all of them are peaceful. I don’t know who would put up with the situation when government buildings are held and those who occupy them refuse to leave and do so deliberately, to provoke tension,” he said.

“The agreements between Russia and Ukraine reached in Moscow are of advantage for very close ties, for production cooperation between hundreds and thousands of Ukrainian and Russian enterprises,” the minister stressed. “We, certainly, don’t want these ties to break,” he said.

“Ukraine is our close neighbour, a fraternal country, and we wish sincerely to assist the situation in that country being calm and remaining within the constitution, and that Ukrainians themselves, all political forces, could get together and hold a discussion toward agreement,” Lavrov said.

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