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Russia’s parliament speaker calls Ukraine-EU Association Agreement political decision

June 30, 2014, 17:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Association Agreemen tdoesn’t permit that country to conduct an independent economic policy in many respects, the speaker of the upper house of Russian parliament believes
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Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko after signing the association agreement with the EU

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko after signing the association agreement with the EU

© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The signing of the economic section of the Association Agreement (AA) between Ukraine and the EU is a purely political decision, behind which no one seems to willing to see the mundane interest of the Ukrainian people, Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of Russian parliament said Monday.

By signing the document, Ukraine “fell into the harsh economic embrace of the EU that doesn’t let it move either leftwards or rightwards,” Matviyenko said. “Unfortunately, the AA has legally binding force for Ukraine now and it doesn’t permit that country to conduct an independent economic policy in many respects.”

She said she was wondering to what degree a policy of this kind could be consonant with national interests.

Matviyenko leveled criticism at some arguments in favor of “Ukraine’s European choice”, including the ostensible willingness to curb corruption and assimilate European standards.

“And who could possibly tell us what impediments Ukraine sees for doing it gradually and stage by stage while preserving the multi-vector economic relationships that are definitely beneficial for its economic system, in the first place?” she said.

Like a number of other Russian officials and experts, Matvienko said the proposal to hold trilateral consultations in the Russia-EU-Ukraine format was too belated. “What the subject of those consultations could be when the document has been signed and there’s no way to change it?” she asked.

Still, Russia is not set for confrontation even in these circumstances.

“We’re prepared to hold consultations even right now but only if they are useful and don’t boil down to a fictitious political gesture like, let’s hold discussions of some sort,” Matviyenko said.

She admitted however that she found it quite problematic to glean the meaning and import of the consultations that would spin around an agreement, which had taken effect.

June 27, the EU signed AA’s with Georgia and Moldova and the economic chapters of the agreement with Ukraine.

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