Friday, January 17, 2014

Ukraine Inches Closer to Eurasian Union Membership

The Ukrainian government approved Wednesday a programme of cooperation with former Soviet states that have joined the Customs Union, although rapprochement with the Russia-led bloc has fuelled continuing pro-Europe protests in Kiev.

The programme details cooperation with member states of the Customs Union up to 2020, though without "any mention of Ukraine's plans to join the Customs Union" until then, Viktor Suslov, Ukraine's representative in the integration process, told AFP.

Before the government approved it, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the programme offers a "detailed plan of developing trade and economic relations ... in the industrial, auto, aerospace, and ship-building, agriculture, transportation, and tourism sectors."

Kiev in November backed out of a long-discussed Association Agreement with the European Union, which would have sealed closer cooperation with Europe, and instead signed a slew of strategic partnership deals with Moscow.

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