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“We believe that the EU counterparts failed to prove the association agreements’ advantage,” the statement says.
“In our view, the rupture of trade and economic relations with our neighbors can damage the Russian economy,” it says.
“The European Commission proposed to continue ministerial contacts within the Russia-EU-Ukraine format. The meeting is scheduled for July 11,” the ministry says.
Earlier, Russia and Ukraine initiated the tripartite format. However, Brussels rejected this initiative.
“At present, a possibility is being discussed to hold consultations at the level of experts,” the ministry says.
A source at the European Commission told ITAR-TASS earlier Russia and Ukraine hoped to discuss at the trilateral level the issues of practical implementation of the free trade agreement between Brussels and Kiev.
Since the beginning of the year, Russia and the EU have held two rounds of bilateral technical consultations on the issue.
Russia’s Economics Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, who is expected to take part in the trilateral meeting on behalf of Russia, told ITAR-TASS earlier Moscow will propose a discussion of two groups of problems related to the AA.
The first group includes the extra risks arising from the uncontrollable imports in the wake of introduction of European technical regulations and the problem of imports from third countries. Russia expects the EU and Kiev’s ability to guarantee “some customs protection measures against re-imports from third countries.”
The second group is related to a big amount of agreements between Ukraine, Russia and other countries of the CIS on technological regimentation, veterinary, and pharmacology, as all of them have direct bearing on the security and health of rank-and-file people, Ulyukayev said.
Russian Foreign Minister issued a warning Wednesday which said if Moscow would take protective steps envisioned by the rules of the World Trade Organization if it saw that the EU’s association agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova were producing the aftermaths deplorable for the CIS free trade area.
“The main thing is that as soon as the treaties, which our partners in the CIS free trade area are going to sign with the EU, take effect and we see that they are wielding bad impact on the functioning of CIS free trade, we’ll certainly take protective steps then in full compliance with WTO regulations and with observance of terms of our membership,” Lavrov said.