Sunday, 3 November 2013
EU-Ukraine Agreement Won't Be Signed, Says Putin Aide
MOSCOW, Russia -- An Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine will not be signed because it would go against Ukraine's privileged relationship with Russia, an aide to President Vladimir Putin said. The agreement cannot be signed because it is contrary "to Ukraine's economic interests, to our spiritual and historical traditions, and is disadvantageous for Europe, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan," aide Sergei Glazyev said on Rossiya 24 television channel. "The agreement is unfavorable for everyone except the mad politicians who have called for it," he said. Glazyev also argued that the signing of such an agreement would breach the Russia-Ukraine Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership signed in 1997, Interfax reported Tuesday. Article 13 of the treaty stipulates that Russia and Ukraine are committed to harmonizing national legislation and to creating a single economic space. Glazyev's statement comes amid Moscow's efforts to persuade Kiev to join its Customs Unions with Belarus and Kazakhstan. By joining the union, Ukraine stands to gain $10 million thanks to gas price adjustments and the removal of export duties on Russian oil deliveries, Glazyev said. However, if Ukraine signs an agreement with the EU its GDP will drop to minus 1.5 percent by 2020, Glazyev said, citing calculations "agreed with Ukrainian researchers." "These figures are defended at all levels. No one disagrees with them," he said. In what could be a pivotal moment in the tug-of-war over Ukraine between the EU and Russia, Ukraine will take part in the EU's third Eastern Partnership Summit at the end of November in Vilnius. The summit's stated objective is to build "safe, economically strong and pro-European Eastern neighbors."