Time: 3:14 p.m. CEST
Russia formulates that European Union should nurture a good relations with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday, reports Russian News Agency Itar-Tass. During the interview on Rossiya 1 TV Channel, Lavrov stated: “Russia wants the European Union to have good relations with the United States, but make decision on its own.”
Russian Foreign Minister shared readiness for possible consultations with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine about “adapting economic policies after those countries association with the European Union.” Itar-Taas explains Lavrov cannot share “radical forecasts – that the association with the EU would mean economic suicide.”
Russia sees interest in the trade with those countries, although it would like to protect the economic interest of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
“We are interested first of all to see what could be the influence on our market of the duty-free import of European goods to Ukraine or Moldova, pushing out of Moldovan and Ukrainian goods from their markets to be replaced by more competitive European goods, and what will happen to the markets in the countries of the Customs Union – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan,” Lavrov said, as Itar-Tass reports.
Earlier, Russia announced re-evaluation of their economic relationship with Ukraine amid the country signed AA with EU. Moscow’s Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov said to Euronews that the accord would alter Russia’s relations with its neighbor.
“If Ukraine goes into association with the EU, then we will be obliged to switch to normal non-preferential regime of MFN – ‘Much Favored Nation’ – which is normal for trade relations between most countries of the world, but Ukraine will no longer be able to count on preferential treatment,” he said.
While the clock ticks, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on Friday morning signed the trade and economy agreement with the European Union. It was the agreement that former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych halted and had triggered the earlier and recent crisis in Ukraine.
Despite Ukraine, Georgia’ and Moldova’s prime ministers signed the Association Agreement with EU, that is the frame for easier trading between countries. It is also considered as the pre-entering process of the countries into European Union candidacy for membership process.
“Signing the AA should not be seen as the end of the road, but as the beginning of a journey in which the EU and the three countries are embarking together today, ” the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Brussels.
The United States congratulates the Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine on signing Association Agreements and establishing Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with the European Union, State Department announced on Friday.
“Today, Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine have signaled their readiness to undertake important economic and legal reforms that will make them stronger, more vibrant democracies, ” said State Secretary John Kerry who ends his Middle East and Europe official visit with official meetings in Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday, as BBC News reports, “Ukrainian government ceasefire in the conflict in the east of the country appears to be holding, despite the attacks by pro-Russia rebels.”
After returning of Brussels, Poroshenko extended the ceasefire on Friday until Monday. Pro-Russian separatist leaders, reportedly agree for an extension of “a shaky ceasefire” in parts of Ukraine with Russian-speaking population reports, Reuters News Agency.
The previous ceasefire between the rebels and the government in Ukraine expired lat on June 27.