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Ukraine: Russia can't cancel FTA

Staff writer |
Russia can't unilaterally cancel a free trade area (FTA) with Ukraine because it is regulated by the agreement on the free trade area within the CIS, said Ukrainian Government's Commissioner for Cooperation with Russia, CIS, EurAsEC and other regional associations Valeriy Muntian.

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"The termination of the agreement and, thus, a free trade regime is possible only with the consent of the parties to this agreement. The withdrawal, for example, of Russia, from the treaty will lead to its refusal from the free trade regime not only with Ukraine, but also with other states of the CIS," said Mr. Muntian.

According to him, even a hypothetical withdrawal of all the three countries of the Customs Union will not lead to the loss of effect by the agreement because it was signed by eight countries of the CIS. Muntian also noted that the decision on the withdrawal of the Customs Union member countries from the agreement on the FTA must be taken at the level of presidents of these countries, but not at the level of the Eurasian Economic Commission.

"There is a logical question, why Ukraine should pull out of the beneficial for it in the trade and economic cooperation agreement, especially amid the global financial and economic crisis? Ukraine will protect its economic interests and continue to defend the free trade area without exceptions and limitations," said Mr. Muntian.

The FTA agreement between the CIS member states was signed in October 2011. Under the instrument, "the termination of the agreement for any of the parties is only possible after sending by such a party to the CIS Executive Committee depositary a written notice of such intention no later than 12 months before the withdrawal." The Russian presidential aide Sergei Glazyev said that if Kyiv signs the Association Agreement and the FTA with the EU, the Customs Union can come out of a free trade a with the country.

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