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Russia to cooperate with Ukraine regardless of its EU choice

November 27, 2013, 20:04 UTC+3 27
MP: the format and the conditions of cooperation would, however, depend on Ukraine’s final decision
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MOSCOW, November 27 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will continue cooperation with Ukraine no matter what choice regarding the European Union it will finally make, Russia’s Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko told the media on Wednesday.

Matvienko said no matter what choice Ukraine might eventually make Russia would continue cooperating with its neighbor, its fraternal nation on a wide range of issues, but the format and the conditions of cooperation would, however, depend on Ukraine’s final decision.

Matvienko said Russia, Ukraine and the EU would be looking for mutually beneficial conditions within the framework of trilateral talks, if Ukraine signed the Association Agreement with the EU.

“It is up to Ukraine to decide whether to sign the deal and start integrating into EU. Then we should, obviously, change our trading terms with that country. We have to protect the former Soviet republics’ Customs Union market and we must not give any preferences to the EU via Ukraine”, she explained, adding that the current agreements would not change, if Ukraine acted otherwise.

The official also stressed that Russia did not press Ukraine for making any decisions.

“We are just telling our partner nation outright that after it signs the deal with the EU our previous agreements will go irrelevant, and we shall have to change the trading terms, nothing more. We are not leaving and closing the door behind. Russia is still ready to cooperate,” she said.

Matvienko is confident that Ukraine had enough grounds for the decision to pause the signing of the association deal.

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