Russia's Medvedev warns Ukraine over joining EU trade bloc
MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stepped up pressure on Ukraine on Monday to back down on plans to join a European Union (EU) trade bloc, warning that Kiev would be barred from a customs union of former Soviet states if it signed an agreement with Europe. Ukraine’s hopes of signing a free-trade pact and other agreements with the EU at a summit in November have caused concern in Moscow, which aims to derail Ukraine’s pro-Europe policy and keep the country focused on the former Soviet bloc. It has already warned that Kiev would forfeit its special-partner status with Russia if it went ahead with signing the EU accords.
"This is a key political decision that the leadership of Ukraine is making," he said. Russia, which would like control of Ukraine’s gas pipeline network, has used the promise of much cheaper gas to try to coax Kiev into the customs union, which was set up in 2010 and offers tariff-free trade between members.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich dismissed the promise as "humiliating". In August, Russia sounded a warning shot to Ukraine, conducting extra customs checks on Ukrainian imports over several days.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business DaySimilar Stories