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KIEV, November 23 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov has said he will be prepared to resign, if his arguments in favour of suspending preparations for signing the association agreement with the EU were wrong.
“Prove me that I am wrong,” Azarov said in the talk show Shuster Live on the Inter television channel Friday evening.
Azarov said Kiev had asked Europe to help restore normal trade turnover in the wake of a slump in trade with Russia only to hear no guarantees in response. Also, Ukraine had turned for assistance in concluding a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
“We heard words of consent. A month passed, then another month. The situation kept getting worse, but not assistance came,” Azarov said.
“One question is quite remarkable. Will those who are now accusing us of all mortal sins take out their wallets and pay our people the 20 billion dollars that we have overpaid Russia for gas?” Azarov said about the gas agreement with Russia that Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko signed back in 2009 (currently she is serving a prison term for the abuse of powers).
“May those people say: ‘Once we believe that the former prime minister did everything the right way, we shall be prepared to pay out of our own pockets and settle the mammoth debts.’ Regrettably, we shall never hear that from them,” Azarov said.
He sees nothing tragic in the possibility Ukraine will get back to the issue of drafting an association agreement with the European Union in six months’ time, after consultations among Ukraine, Russia and the EU.