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Association with EU will not compensate Ukraine’s economic losses — Russian EU ambassador

June 27, 2014, 21:18 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
To adapt to the European Union’s standards would take extra investments and monetary funds, which “no one knows where will come from,” Vladimir Chizhov noted
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BRUSSELS, June 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Association with the European Union will not be able to compensate Ukraine’s losses from economic transformations it will have to carry out under this agreement, Russian Permanent Representative at the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.

“I don’t think it will compensate. I think that today the Ukrainian economy is in a miserable state due to a number of factors. In my view, the problems that these three countries - Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia [which signed association agreements with the European Union] - will only aggravate the situation,” he said.

“As for the association with the European Union, it has been often underscored that the agreement provides for the establishment of a wide and comprehensive free trade zone. As a matter of fact, I have seen no small and non-comprehensive zones - it is either existent or not. But the association agreement stretches much further,” he noted, adding individual countries were free to have free trade zone with however many country they wanted. “But the association regime is fraught with the restructuring of the entire economy to fit the European Union’s realities. In practice, it means that elements of the European Union’s normative base - legal and economic elements - will be imposed in the regulative sphere,” he said.

To adapt to the European Union’s standards would take extra investments and monetary funds, which “no one knows where will come from,” the Russian diplomat noted. “It looks like from the same sources that are to be used to pay for Russian gas.”

Chizhov also touched upon such related sphere as veterinary and phytosanitary requirements. “No and then Russia is forced to impose restrictions on products from the European Union countries,” he noted. “Ukraine will have to join this system under the association agreement. Hence, restrictions will be applicable to Ukrainian products as well.”

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