Kudrin: Ukraine to lose from association with EU in the first 5-10 years

Ukraine might have had short-term losses from its association with the European Union but gained in the long-term, former Russian Finance Minister, head of the Committee for Civil Initiatives Alexei Kudrin said.

Ukraine might have had short-term losses from its association with the European Union but gained in the long-term, former Russian Finance Minister, head of the Committee for Civil Initiatives Alexei Kudrin said.

"I think that the reasons mentioned by the Russian president and Ukrainian entrepreneurs are quite rational. Most probably, Ukraine will lose from entering into the European Union in the brief period of five to ten years. Yet it may gain in the longer [prospect]. But this is a choice for Ukraine to make," Kudrin told a press conference at the Interfax Yekaterinburg office on Tuesday.

Both the EU and Customs Union have their pros and cons for Ukraine, he said.

"The Customs Union is a much narrower market. But on the other hand for now Ukraine has broader possibilities even on this more limited market," Kudrin said.

The Ukrainian government decided on November 21 to suspend preparations for signing the association agreement with the European Union. The leaders of opposition factions went on an open-ended protest on November 24 and called for setting up road blocks along the Ukrainian government's building. The demonstrators clashed with the police on November 24-25. Tear gas was used.

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