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Ukraine-EU trade pact delay should be legislatively sealed — minister

September 15, 2014, 13:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign the EU deal sparked mass street protests that led to his ouster in February this year
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©  AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

MOSCOW, September 15. /ITAR-TASS/. A compromise decision reached by Ukrainian, Russian and European officials to delay implementation of a Ukraine-EU trade deal should be sealed legislatively, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Monday.

Russia, Ukraine and the EU agreed on September 12 to delay the implementation of a free trade pact between Kiev and Europe at least until the end of 2015. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign the EU deal sparked mass street protests that led to his ouster in February this year.

Russia has said on many occasions that the Ukraine-EU free trade deal implementation will harm the domestic market, unless amendments are made to the text of the agreement.

The Russian economic development minister said at a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday that the compromise on delaying the deal implementation should be legislatively sealed by acts of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) and the European Commission.

“I have prepared a letter for my colleagues - the European Trade Commissioner and the Ukrainian foreign minister,” Ulyukayev said.

“First, we believe that these accords should be formalized properly at the level of a decision by the European Community Council of Ministers and an act by the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, which should accompany the ratification procedure [for the trade deal],” Ulyukayev said.

The Russian economic development minister also said that the letter’s second point was warning Russia’s partners that Moscow would consider the deal’s “creeping implementation” as a breach of the agreements and would reserve the right to cancel a preferential trade regime with Ukraine.

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