MOSCOW, July 11 Russia urged the European Union
on Friday to refrain from implementing a free-trade pact with
Ukraine until Moscow's concerns over the agreement are
Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev warned after talks in
Brussels with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Ukrainian
Foreign Minister Pavlo Klymkin that Moscow would have to
reevaluate its customs rules with Ukraine once the Association
Agreement came into force.
"I'm afraid that our colleagues do not fully understand the
scale of the problem that we will be faced with," Ulyukayev was
quoted as saying by Russian state news agency RIA, saying the
agreement caused "risky areas" for Moscow.
"We insist that as long as these risky areas are not
clarified, the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU
should not enter into force."
The EU signed the pact with Ukraine on June 27, committing
to the same deal that Russian-backed former president Viktor
Yanukovich rejected last November, a decision that contributed
to his overthrow in February.
Moscow fears Ukraine may re-export EU products to Russia,
avoiding duties that Russia imposes to protect its own output.
Before the three-way talks in Brussels, Ulyukayev told RIA
the EU-Ukraine deal risked "the possibility of displacement of
Russian goods on European market and Ukrainian goods from the
(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by Timothy Heritage)