MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. Moscow is ready for a new ministerial meeting in the Russia-EU-Ukraine format on trade and economic relations with account of provisions of an Association Agreement (AA) between Brussels and Kiev, Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya said on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with TASS.
“From July through to September 2014, several rounds of consultations on implementation of economic provisions of the AA were held in this format, including two ministerial-level rounds,” Nebenzya said.
“The main result of the September 12, 2014, meeting was a decision of the European Commission to put off implementation of the rules of a deep and all-embracing free trade zone in the format of the AA until December 31, 2015,” he said.
In response, Russia agreed to keep up the preferential trade status for Ukraine over the same period on the conditions of inviolability of the effective trade regime.
The Russian side views this decision as recognition of the risks its trade relations will be exposed to once the AA is implemented, particularly in what concerns the trade area.
“We were compelled to establish monitoring of our partners’ practical actions on the economic section of the AA so as to defend Russia’s economic interests timely,” Nebenzya said.
He believes it is important first and foremost to show readiness for resolving the matters of concern instead of repeating day after day that Russia would benefit from the EU-Ukraine AA as well.
“In addition, we feel the burden of economic pressure and simultaneously hear the appeals to furnish Kiev with more economic and trade preferences that would lead the Kiev government out of the economic and political deadlock where the advice of EU consultants has goaded it,” Nebenzya said.
“We hope to continue contacts in 2015 and we’ll try to convince our partners of a possibility of definitive results,” he said. “In any case, I’d like to confirm once again Russia will defend its trade and economic interests toughly at negotiations with both Kiev and Brussels, and it is ready for resolute actions.”
“We’re prepared to join a new trilateral ministerial-level meeting that would give new clues to experts in the spirit of September negotiations,” Nebenzya said. “This would be more logical than to embark on a new phase of negotiations.”