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Moscow expects Kiev, EU to comply with AA postponement

September 17, 2014, 18:34 UTC+3

Russia reserves right to respond immediately if Kiev, Brussels fail to comply with the agreement on postponing the enactment of the Association Agreement betwen Ukraine and the EU

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MOSCOW, September 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow expects Kiev and the European Union to postpone the enactment of their Association Agreement (AA) as was agreed on September 12, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

The statement followed the ratification of the Association Agreement by Ukraine and the European Parliament.

“If the agreement [reached at the ministerial meeting in Brussels on September 12] is breached and certain provisions on ‘the deep and comprehensive’ free trade area are enforced, we will reserve the right to respond immediately in accordance with the rules of the WTO, the CIS and the Customs Union,” the ministry said.

“Taking into account the legal consequences of the ratification of the Association Agreement in Ukraine, we are hoping that the authorities in Kiev, and the present and future leadership of the European Union will comply with the agreement reached at a ministerial meeting in Brussels on September 12, which will help to avoid additional complications in Russian-Ukrainian trade and economic relations,” the ministry said.

Moscow expects “the decision postponing the temporary application of the free trade area rules until December 31, 2015 to be legally formalised by European Union and Kiev”, the ministry said.

On September 16, the European Parliament rubber-stamped the Association Agreement with Ukraine. “However for the Agreement to be become fully effective, all 28 EU countries have to complete this procedure,” the ministry said.

The Verkhovna Rada approved the Agreement on the same day.

The ministry also noted the “pluralism of opinions among European parliamentarians during the discussion, which brings the European Parliament to more realistic assessments of the actual situation”.

“We see prospects for settling the whole range of problems around Ukraine and, in a broader context, on a European scale through joint work to build a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to Pacific, conjunction of Eurasian and European integration processes, and active work of the European Union and the Customs Union/Eurasian Economic Union in the interests of all citizens of Greater Europe,” the ministry said.

It said this would “help to overcome fundamental errors, the dangerous unilateral nature of the current Eastern Partnership policy and the one-sidedness of the Association Agreements brought about by it”, the ministry said.

On June 27, the European Union signed Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova and the economic part of the agreement with Ukraine.

In April, Ukraine signed the political part of the agreement with the EU, which makes up about 2% of the document. The remaining 98% deal with the creation of a free trade zone between the EU and Ukraine.

Late last year, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule reiterated that the Association Agreement was “an offer to Ukraine, to Ukrainian people and as such it is on the table. There is a shared ownership of this agreement, so the message that the door is open, should reach not only President’s office and Prime Minister’s cabinet”.

He welcomed the European aspirations of the Ukrainian nation and expressed firm belief that “the Association Agreement, including DCFTA, will be the first substantial step towards fulfilling these aspirations. Respect for our common values and implementation of the Association Agreement will define the future progressive developments in our relationship.

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