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Ukrainian-Russian relations approach point of no return

October 04, 2013, 11:20 UTC+3

“The Kremlin has nobody to count on in Kiev,” believes the Nezavisimaya Gazeta

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“The Kremlin has nobody to count on in Kiev,” believes the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, publishing an article about Russian-Ukrainian relations under the title.

Ukraine and Russia will hold several rounds of talks on terms of cooperation after the signing of the agreement on association with the EU. However, no meeting is planned between Yanukovich and Putin. Kiev believes Russia is forced to come to compromise economic decisions, but may create social and political problems for Ukraine in the future.

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, a Russian-Ukrainian commission meeting on the prime minister level is scheduled for mid-October in Kaluga and a bilateral inter-parliamentary meeting is planned for late October in Dnepropetrovsk, but the foreign ministries of the two countries have not been instructed to prepare a meeting of the two presidents.

Karasin admitted that the preparation for signing the agreement on association between Ukraine and the EU had an effect on the atmosphere of Ukrainian-Russian relations, but noted "As before, we are ready to share our arguments with our Ukrainian partners in favor of Eurasian integration, at least against opposing Eurasian integration to European."

The head of the Institute of Ukrainian Politics, Konstantin Bondarenko, believes nothing unexpected is happening now. "Emotions and political statements are one thing, and a trade turnover of EUR34.5 billion is another. Everything can be said, indignation can be expressed, but it is necessary to sit down at the negotiating table and decide how to cooperate under new conditions. Otherwise, economic interests of both states will be affected."

The analyst noted that both countries had possibilities for compromises. Ukraine said it was ready to join 70 agreements of the Customs Union and work as an observer at the Eurasian Economic Commission.

News agencies on Thursday cited the permanent Russian representative to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, as saying that Russia did not intend to influence a foreign policy choice of Ukraine.

The diplomat explained why an equal level of cooperation was impossible between Ukraine and the EU -- regulations are different in the two customs unions. These are not only tariffs, but also technical regulations and veterinary and phytosanitary standards, and what is important, particularly in Ukrainian reality - regulations of the energy legal basis of the European Union, up to the known third energy package, Chizhov noted. Therefore, approaching the signing of the agreement on association with the EU means approaching of the process to the point of no return in relations with Russia, the diplomat said.

Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Razumkov Economic and Political Studies Centre Valery Chaly admits that Russia will take steps in the economic, energy and financial areas. At the same time, he noted "We must understand that we are interconnected. Russia is also interested in cooperation and in the Ukrainian gas market. Russia is interested in maintaining mutual trade, since it gives revenues to the budget." The expert, as many other Ukrainian diplomats, is sure that after the signing of the agreement on association with the EU, Ukrainian and Russian relations will also normalize.

However, Kiev pays attention to the fact that a meeting of the Ukrainian and Russian presidents is not planned, and possibilities for informal friendly talks of the two leaders are not discussed. Some say about bad relations between Yanukovich and Putin and suppose that Russia may begin a game behind the scene against Yanukovich before the presidential elections in revenge for the pro-European policy.

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