KIEV, June 25 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev is prepared to hold consultations with Moscow on Ukraine’s European integration bid, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Wednesday.
Russia has expressed concern over Kiev’s intention to sign the economic part of a European Union association agreement, because it would bring about an uncontrollable flow of goods and Russia would need to protect its markets. Ukraine plans to sign the agreement on June 27.
“The Russian leadership’s announcement on closing markets has absolutely no economic grounds. We are ready to hold public technical consultations for the implementation of the agreement in order to remove the prejudices and would like to understand how the European quality of goods threatens our neighbors,” Yatsenyuk said during a Ministerial Cabinet session.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso earlier agreed to hold trilateral consultations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement between Russia, the EU and Ukraine at the expert and ministerial levels.
Russia initially planned to schedule the meeting before the signing of the document, so that the sides could try to avert the risks the agreement might pose to the Ukrainian economy rather than merely sharing their views.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is pushing for closer ties with the EU, vowed to sign the remaining economic part of the agreement on the sidelines of the upcoming EU summit in Brussels. The political provisions of the agreement were finalized on March 21.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier said Russia had no objection to the measure and would not impose any sanctions on Kiev if it opted for association with the European Union. President Putin warned that the agreement would turn into an ordeal for Ukraine.