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MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. Ukraine’s possible withdrawal from the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) would first of all have an impact on Ukrainian citizens, Vasily Nebenzya, a Russian deputy foreign minister, said on Wednesday.
“We (Russia) proceed from the stance that the issue of the withdrawal from the CIS is the choice of Ukraine and such question should be addressed directly to the country,” Nebenzya said in an interview with TASS.
“On our behalf, we believe that such step would first of all have a direct impact on Ukraine and its citizens,” the Russian diplomat said. “According to experts, Ukraine’s withdrawal from the CIS, including its agreement on the Free Trade Zone, will result in heavy economic losses for the country.”
“Grave consequences would follow if Kiev revises its participation in multilateral agreements concerning pensions and healthcare,” Nebenzya said. “What would happen to guarantees and rights of millions of Ukrainian labor migrants travelling to Russia and other CIS member states in line with legal basis of the CIS?”
Nebenzya said that “as of today we have about 450 agreements,” regulating the aforementioned issue and Ukraine “takes active part in almost half of them.”
Earlier in the month, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a bill on the country’s withdrawal from the CIS, which is a loose union of former Soviet states.