Russia sees talks with Ukraine over Customs Union accession "senseless"

Russia sees talks with Ukraine over Customs Union accession "senseless"
# 26 August 2013 23:22 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Moscow sees further talks with Kiev over Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union (CU) senseless, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"I believe this is senseless to continue talks over that issue, " Shuvalov told reporters following a meeting between the two countries' prime ministers.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev talked with his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Azarov on the development of bilateral trade in the light of Kiev's plans to join the European Union (EU)'s free trade zone this November.

"The Ukrainians want to find a format compatible (with simultaneous membership in the EU free trade zone and tripartite Customs Union). But even if we could find a compromise over single customs taxes, they have no such a possibility, as they are completely tied (by agreement with the EU)," Shuvalov said.

Moscow fears that if Kiev and the EU sign a free trade deal, the goods made in Europe will sneak into the CU territory through Ukraine thus bypassing customs control.

The EU-Ukraine agreement envisages 95 percent of all good will move between the two entities free of tax levies.

According to Shuvalov, in such a situation Russia might enforce special customs control on all supplies originated from Ukraine to prevent erosion of the CU's single economic space.

The Russian official stressed there was no political context in the situation.

"Everyone understands everything. After analyzing absolutely all, we've understood there could be no compromises," he said, adding that the CU's institutions have been independent of those in the EU.

Kiev insists that the two zones should not be rivals because they were based on the principles of the World Trade Organization.

Earlier this month, Russia imposed new time-consuming checks on all Ukrainian cargo crossing its border, which caused outcry in Kiev. Some Ukrainian politicians accused Moscow of trying to force Ukraine into the CU, while Moscow denied any political underlying reasons behind that decision.

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