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Putin says Russia to be unable to keep zero customs fees if Ukraine, EU sign AA

June 19, 2014, 0:32 UTC+3 STAVROPOL
"This doesn’t have anything to do with politics or with the options one or another state selects because each sovereign state has the right to choose its original pathway," - Putin said
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© ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Klimentev

STAVROPOL, June 18  /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he hopes Moscow will manage to bring its concerns to Ukraine and the EU over Kiev’s plans to sign the economic section of an Association Agreement with the EU when the negotiating parties hold consultations.

“We agreed on the start of consultations at the level of experts,” he recalled, voicing the hope that they would be held at the level of department chiefs and would raise to a ministerial level somewhat later.

“I hope these contacts will begin and we’ll be able to show in detail what the subject of our concerns is,” Putin said as he addressed a conference on agriculture.

He repeated once again what kind of a threat the AA between the EU and Ukraine was posing for Russia. “If specific economic problems arise we won’t be able to keep the zero rate for import customs fees,” Putin said.

He clarified that he had in mind agricultural produce, in the first place, adding: “This doesn’t have anything to do with politics or with the options one or another state selects because each sovereign state has the right to choose its original pathway.”

Along with it, Putin stressed Russia’s right to defend its own economic interests.

This does not concern agriculture alone, Putin said. The manufacturing sector will also be involved.

“The problem requires a systemic approach and that’s what we’ll be doing,” Putin said.

 

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