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Diplomat says CIS countries' EU aspirations jeopardize cooperation with Russia

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by layman, Oct 1, 2013.

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  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    MOSCOW, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Some Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries' bids to join the European Union (EU) would jeopardize their economic cooperation with the Russia-sponsored Customs Union (CU), a senior Russian diplomat said Tuesday.

    "We don't persuade and we urge the EU not to persuade Ukraine, Moldova or whoever else (to join or not to join either alliance). We don't coerce these countries to join the CU and we don't ask them to sever ties with the EU," Russian permanent envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in an interview published on the Foreign Ministry's website.

    Moscow only explained to these countries what advantages they would obtain by joining the CU and the prospective Eurasian Economic Union, and to what risks they would be exposed by joining the EU, the diplomat said.

    Chizhov said the post-Soviet countries had been deeply connected with the Russian economy and these connections would remain if they joined the Customs Union while the EU did not promise them equal rights.

    The CU currently comprises Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, with Armenia and Kyrgyzstan expressing their interest in joining the alliance.

    The diplomat warned the CIS countries aspiring to join EU risked crossing the line of no-return if they changed their legislation in line with European requirements. A CIS country could destroy its important economic links with Russia after joining the EU economic space, he said.

    It was impossible to be a member of two economic spaces with different customs regulations at once, Chizhov said.

    The EU and Ukraine will likely sign an Association Agreement and a free trade pact at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania's capital Vilnius in November.

    Moldova is also looking to sign similar agreements with the EU.


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