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    General view of the Eurasian Economic Union summit in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia. File photo

    EEU-EU Common Economic Space Would Resolve Ukraine Crisis - Minister

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    Crisis in Ukraine (116)
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    Establishing a common economic space between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the European Union (EU) would eliminate the division which led to the Ukraine crisis, EEU Minister Tatiana Valovaya told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Prior to the 2014 Maidan demonstrations, the government of Ukraine rejected the European Association Agreement, a preferential trade deal, which would have limited its economic relations with Russia.

    "In order to have an end to this tragedy in Ukraine, we really have to… get rid of the reason of this tragedy, and the reason is the division of the two spaces," Valovaya told Sputnik on Thursday.

    The EEU is a strong proponent of creating a common economic space with the EU to further integrate the two economic blocs.

    "Funny enough, I personally think that the time is now better for resuming this [EEU-EU] dialogue than it was before the sanctions," Valovaya noted.

    The driving factor in the Ukrainian crisis, Valovaya explained, was the EU pressing Ukraine "to make a choice between Eurasian Union and European."

    Had the common economic space been in place in 2014, Ukraine would not have had to make the choice.

    "Ukraine could join any part of this space, but it still would be a common space."

    Since 2003, Russia and the European Union have been engaged in a series of talks aimed at creating a more open zone for trade.

    Earlier this week, the EEU sent a letter to the EU proposing the two restart talks to create the common economic space.

    The EEU currently consists of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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    Crisis in Ukraine (116)

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