Putin warns against EU, Ukraine deal
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a meeting. AP photoRussian President Vladimir Putin has said that if Ukraine signs a landmark political and trade deal with the European Union, the Moscow-led Customs Union would consider adopting protective measures.
“If our neighbors move to significantly liberalize a customs regime with the EU then the Ukrainian market will indeed be flooded by goods whose quality and price are rather good,” Putin said. “This will prompt them to push Ukrainian-made goods out of the Ukrainian market,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Aug. 22. “Then the countries of the Customs Union will have to think about protective measures, such a possibility exists,” Putin said.
Putin delivered a stark warning to the ex-Soviet neighbors as Kiev prepares to sign an association agreement with the EU at a summit in Vilnius in November. He added that a Ukrainian delegation would arrive in Moscow next week to discuss Ukraine’s possible signing of the deal and its consequences.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov will travel to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Aug. 26, Medvedev’s spokeswoman told AFP. The repeatedly-delayed deal would open up EU markets for Ukrainian exports.