Ukrainian PM: Customs union affects Russian–Ukrainian relations

MOSCOW, Aug 10 (PRIME) — The recent creation of a customs union between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan has had a negative impact on the relationship between Russia and Ukraine, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said Wednesday, as cited by RIA Novosti.

In particular, the unions members are currently limiting imports of Ukrainian goods to their markets, Azarov said speaking at a RussianUkrainian economic forum in Kiev.

All these difficulties are connected with the formalization of the customs union, he added.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in June that the customs union could take protective measures against Ukrainian goods, if Ukraine creates a free trade zone with the E.U., opening the Ukrainian market to European goods.

Moreover, Azarov said Wednesday that unjustified prices of natural gas supplies from Russia to Ukraine under contracts signed in 2009 could also affect long term cooperation between the two countries.

We do not need discounts or preferences. We want fairness, he said.

The price of Russian gas for Ukraine, under the current contract, is expected to amount to U.S. $388 per 1,000 cubic meters in OctoberDecember, Azarov said earlier in August.

The Ukrainian government has been seeking to revise the agreement on the price of natural gas supplies, concluded in 2009 by Ukraines then-Prime Minister, Yulia Timoshenko, who is currently on trial for allegedly abusing her position of power while concluding gas contracts with Russia.


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