Ukraine's ties with CU won't expand if Association Agreement starts working – Putin
President Vladimir Putin said he favors Ukraine's broader interaction with the Customs Union, but doubts this will be feasible after the enforcement of Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union.
"We think it would be reasonable to maintain and strongly intensify interaction. However, the question arises: Can this be attained if Ukraine's association agreement with the EU starts working?" Putin said in Minsk at the Customs Union leaders' meeting with the Ukrainian president, attended by European Commission officials.
Russia has said on many occasions, Putin said, that Kyiv's commitment to comply with all requirements listed in the agreement will negatively impact trade and investment cooperation in the Eurasian region.
"Kyiv's pledge to fulfill all requirements on tariff liberalization and on the switch to the EU technical and sanitary-veterinary standards, listed in the agreement, will inevitably have a negative effect on the volume and pace of trade and investment cooperation in the Eurasian region," the Russian president said.
"It goes without saying that all of these standards – phytosanitary norms and rules used in the EU, but not applied in Russia – will actually close the Ukrainian market to Russian products," he said. "The abandonment of technical standards used in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and adaptation to the EU standards will cost Ukraine billions of euros. Partnership ties with the Customs Union in industry, in the financial sector, farming and transport will be lost," Putin said.