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Putin urges Customs Union countries to help Ukraine overcome crisis

March 05, 2014, 19:12 UTC+3 NOVO OGAREVO

He voiced concern about the extraordinary situation in Ukraine

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NOVO-OGAREVO, March 05. /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin urged Customs Union countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia) to help Ukraine overcome its current crisis.

“There is no doubt, we should do our best to help our partners deal with the difficult situation they are in,” Putin said at a summit meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Union on Wednesday, March 5.

Ukraine plays an active role in economic cooperation with the Customs Union countries. “We have close industrial and commercial ties with Ukraine. Ukrainians are in the CIS free trade zone,” Putin said.

He voiced concern about the extraordinary situation in Ukraine. “The Ukrainian economy is in a grave, if not the gravest, crisis,” he said and invited his Belarusian and Kazakhstani colleagues to discuss both how to support Ukraine and protect national markets.

“We will certainly discuss other aspects of the Ukrainian situation as well,” he added.

Putin noted that the Eurasian integration union was open to cooperation with all countries. “Russia values constructive, equal and open relations that have developed in the economic sphere between our countries,” he said.

The Russian president believes that cooperation opens up unique opportunities that the interested parties should use for the benefit of their people.

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