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MOSCOW, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday instructed Economy Minister Ulyukayev to continue the search for compromises with Ukraine and the European Union “to a certain extent, of course”.
“We shall hope some compromises can be reached at the ministerial level and they will be acceptable to all parties - to the European Union, Ukraine and Russia,” Putin said.
He asked the minister “to look for such compromises and be as flexible as possible but to a certain extent, of course, to a certain limit which we cannot overstep, bearing in mind the interests of our manufacturers and our economy,” the president said.
Russia will take measures to protect its economy if Kiev and Brussels balk at alleviating its concerns over the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said.
“We are going to confirm this [at the upcoming ministerial consultations], and this is our legitimate position. If there is no understanding among our partners and colleagues, we have mechanisms to protect our manufacturers from the existing risks,” the minister during President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Cabinet members.
"They acknowledge our concern on three positions including technical regulations, veterinary and phytosanitary control, and customs administrating but they refuse to recognize our concerns on the customs tariffs," Ulyukayev said. "We're offered a post facto mechanism of reacting, which suggests 'react after you feel pain and then we'll discuss anything'.
Ulyukayev said the Ukrainian and EU officials recommend a mechanism of consultations and monitoring of the situation, adding: "That's a very inflexible mechanism."
"Whether or not this problem is recognized as such, they won't consider it as a problem in the future if they don't heed it now," Putin said.