MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. Reinstatement of economic relations between Ukraine and Russia should become the only possible variant to overcome the crisis that gripped the Ukrainian economy, member of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) from the Opposition Platform - For Life political party Alexander Koltunovich said Wednesday at a roundtable discussion on issues of the trade and industrial cooperation between Russia and Ukraine.
"Reinstatement, further development and strengthening economic ties between Ukraine and Russia should become the only tenable priority to overcome the crisis in the Ukrainian economy," he said, underlining that this position is one of the key tasks for his party. At the same time, the lawmaker pointed out that Opposition Platform - For Life also believes it is necessary to deepen cooperation between Ukraine and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and its structures. "We believe that the promising market is there," he noted.
According to him, the Ukrainian authority will have to resume ties with Russia because otherwise the Ukrainian economy has no chances for revival, as he put it. "If they (Kiev authorities - TASS) want to raise the national economy and build a technological state, they should undertake this step by reinstating economic ties with the Russian Federation," the member of parliament underscored.
He emphasized that Kiev lost much from refocusing its economy on the European market. "We were promised that Eurasian markets would be replaced with European ones. But we lost so much that we cannot even talk about any diversification," Koltunovich lamented. He underscored that Ukrainian producers lost a significant part of their exports by leaving the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) markets. According to him, the export of Ukrainian goods to Russia was at the level of $20 billion in 2014, while in 2017 it dropped to $3 billion. "In three years, we lost $17 billion, and industrial production plunged after," the lawmaker noted. He also emphasized that the Ukrainian export to the CIS was $26 billion at its peak, while now it fell to $6 billion. At the same time, Koltunovich added that exports to European countries did not compensate losses suffered by losing the CIS markets.