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Russia says not insisting on changes to text of EU-Ukraine free trade deal

May 27, 2015, 9:59 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

"We understand that one cannot add any new passages to the text which has been ratified by most EU countries," Russia's EU envoy said

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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

RUSSELS, May 27. /TASS/. Russia does not insist on changing the text of a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, Russia's EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov said on Wednesday.

"We understand that one cannot add any new passages to the text which has been ratified by most EU countries," Chizhov said in an exclusive interview with TASS. "There will probably be some parallel agreements between Russia, Ukraine and the EU which are legally not connected with the association accord but synchronise in time with it," he said.

Chizhov also stressed that "there seems to be no point in further delaying its entry into force". "Fifteen months is sufficient time to discuss all our concerns and find solutions," he said, noting that half of that time had passed but there was not much progress.

"However, it would be wrong to say that the talks are deadlocked. Those concrete proposals presented by Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev in Brussels [at EU-Russia-Ukraine talks on May 19] are for the most part under consideration," he said.

"A new ministerial meeting is expected to take place in mid-July," Chizhov said. "Before that, experts in six areas will carry out the necessary preparatory work."

"I would like to note that the latest round was held in a more constructive atmosphere than the previous ones," he added.

Three-way trade talks last September led to the important free trade part of the EU association pact being postponed until January 1, 2016. That delay was aimed at addressing a number of trade problems emerging as a result of Ukraine being a member of free trade areas both with the EU and Russia, while there is no free trade pact between Russia and the European Union.

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