19:18 GMT +320 October 2017
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    WILL RUSSIA BE A LOSER AS A RESULT OF EU EXPANSION?

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    MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - As a result of the EU expansion Russia will lose from 250 to 450 million euros in trade with the ten new members of the European Union. Director of the European Cooperation Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Grushko said this in an interview with the paper Mir Novostei.

    In the opinion of the Russian diplomat, the tariffs will grow on most sensitive positions. Russia's average weighted trade tariffs with the ten future EU member-states equal 10%. This figure will be 4% after May 1 when these states join the EU and the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation which Russia and the EU signed in 1994, he opines.

    "The arithmetical calculations are impossible here," Grushko said. What is important is the "chemistry" of our multifaceted relations rather than "arithmetics", Grushko said. "We are insisting that the European Union should take into account our traditional ties with the countries of the Ten (the three Baltic states, as well as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus)," Grushko stressed.

    "The problems should be solved. The form may be different. We have always said that the EU expansion is an objective process. We are getting a neighbor with a giant market of 450 million people and a vast potential. If today the share of Russia's trade with the EU makes up 36% of the total Russian trade with the world, after the EU expansion it will amount to about 51%," he said.

    It would have been strange not to pose questions where we see direct losses and infringement on our rights. The accession of the ten new countries to the European Union is a geopolitical shift. Our close neighbors and trade partners are joining the European Union," Alexander Grushko said in conclusion.

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