EU agreements no threat to Russia according to Ukraine's PM

September 21
1:30 PM 2013

The prime minister of the Ukraine reached out to Russia to allay fears as to Kiev's plans of signing a free trade agreement with the European Union. Ukraine said that there is no threat to the home market of Russia.

In a related development, Moody's Investor Service had downgraded the sovereign credit rating of Ukraine on concerns over its relations with Russia.

Mykola Azarov, Ukraine's Prime Minister spoke before an international conference in Yalta, a Black Sea resort, spoke of his frustration at the continued refusal of Russia to reduce the price of gas sales. This, he said, may be forced to further reduce the volume of gas imports from Russia. 

The Ukrainian government had approved plans to sign agreements this November with the European Union on free trade and political association. This drew new threats of retaliatory action from Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Azarov said, "We are convinced that the signing (of the agreements with the EU) does not hold any risks (for Russia)." He added that personal assurances have been made to Russia and its allies in the Customs Union.

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