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Rupture of economic relations with Russia can cause damage to Ukraine — Russian Deputy FM

June 26, 2014, 18:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Much depends on when the Ukrainian parliament ratifies the agreement because the signing means nothing, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya said
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Pavlishak

MOSCOW, June 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine will lose economically if it ruptures relations with Russia, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya has said.

On June 27, Ukraine signed the economic part of the Association Agreement with the EU, Nebenzya told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

“Much depends on when the Ukrainian parliament ratifies the agreement because the signing means nothing. The Association Agreement will not come into effect until the Rada ratifies it,” he said.

“As for the consequences, we warned about them long ago. We’ve never feared and threatened anyone. We warned our partners that if the agreement was signed, ratified and implemented, inevitable economic measures would be taken. We have to protect our own internal market,” Nebenzya said.

Commenting on the damage to the Ukrainian economy, he said, “None has calculated the damage. It is clear the rupture of economic relations with Russia is bigger than the Association Agreement with the EU.”

“Economic benefits of the Ukraine-EU deal are rather ephemeral despite the European partners’ statements that there will be ‘economic paradise’ in Ukraine. I fear that this won’t be realized because the economy in Ukraine is on the verge of catastrophe,” Nebenzya said.

Russia has never sought to aggravate relations with its partners, including with the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vassily Nebenzya said at the 3rd International Parliamentary Forum on Thursday.

“We’ve never stood for such position on the Ukrainian crisis,” he said.

“We warned all countries about the delicate and fragile internal situation in Ukraine and we stressed the need to back Ukraine’s statehood,” Nebenzya said.

“Unfortunately, Ukraine was tried to be used as a bargaining chip in the geopolitical game,” Nebenzya said.

“We’ll make any contribution to the conflict resolution. We favor speedy de-escalation and the launch of a broad dialogue for coming to agreements that will meet the interests of all regions,” he said.

Parliaments’ diplomatic efforts can facilitate the development of relations between the countries and the efforts aimed at settling crises, he said.

Certain European parliamentarians spoke about the importance of Russia-EU partnership and the need to settle the unrest in Ukraine as soon as possible.

He named such speeches as “the voice of reason” and “a breath of fresh air”.

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