BRUSSELS, October 1. /TASS/. The European Union is ready to continue further consultations on how to address the concerns raised by Russia over the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin released on Wednesday.
“We are ready to continue engaging on how to tackle the perceived negative impacts to the Russian economy resulting from the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area,” Barroso said.
Barroso emphasized however that the association pact remains a “bilateral agreement and that, in line with international law, any adaptations to it can only be made at the request of one of the parties and with the agreement of the other.”
The European Commission chief said he welcomes the agreement reached at the September 12 trilateral meeting in Brussels on postponing the application of the Deep and Comprehensive Free-Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with Ukraine by 15 months to December 31, 2015.
“I wish to recall that the joint conclusions reached at the Ministerial meeting state clearly that all these steps are part and parcel of a comprehensive peace process in Ukraine, respecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as its right to decide on its destiny,” Barroso stressed.
Barroso said the proposal to “delay the provisional application of the DCFTA is linked to continuation of the CIS-FTA preferential regime,” in line with the joint ministerial statement.
He also expressed “strong concerns” about Russia’s move last month to adopt a decree proposing new trade barriers between Russia and Ukraine. “We consider that the application of this decree would contravene the agreed joint conclusions and the decision to delay the provisional application of the trade related part of the Association Agreement,” Barroso wrote in the letter.
Barroso said he hopes that “rapid and decisive progress” can be achieved in the trilateral gas talks of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union “towards a mutually acceptable interim solution for the upcoming winter period.”
On September 26, the European Commission’s official spokeswoman, Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen, said Barroso received the letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin on the consequences of implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union and promised not to delay the answer.
Kremlin confirmed that Putin had sent letters to Russia’s European partners, expressing concerns about possible effects of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement implementation.
“As regards the letters, I can say that these letters on possible consequences of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which was signed and later ratified by both sides, were sent to leaders of certain countries, including Ukraine, and to the European Commission,” the presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters, commenting on media reports about Putin’s letter to Barroso.