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Medvedev says Ukraine to decide itself on withdrawinf from CIS

MINSK, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. It is up to Ukraine to decide whether to quit the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or not, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday, warning that once withdrawn, Ukraine would deprive itself of economic advantages.

“What will they have after the withdrawal? Sure, it is their own business, no one is seeking to impose anything on them. But it is worth mentioning that the Commonwealth of Independent State is a free trade zone, after all,” Medvedev told journalists.

Medvedev said that Ukraine’s possible secession from the CIS had not been raised at today’s meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of Government. Ukraine had been represented by its ambassador, he noted. “As far as I understand, he had been vested with no authority and was just present at the meeting,” Medvedev said, adding that the situation when any country quitting any organization was “not a very good story,” for such a step was against the interests of the state itself.

As for the CIS, Medvedev noted that the Commonwealth had a free trade zone agreement. “And if Ukraine stops to work in this format, it is absolutely obvious it will hit its economy,” the Russian prime minister warned. “If it is the price for political affairs, they have all the rights for that, but I believe they must think about the interests of the Ukrainian people when raising such issues."