Russia will have to protect its market unless its interests are taken into consideration in the Ukraine-EU association, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"If we fail to reach any agreements and our concerns are not taken into account, we will have to take measures in order to protect our economy," Putin said after negotiations with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
"We had an opportunity to formulate our concerns once again and we agreed to boost the activity of the trilateral working group comprising Russia, Ukraine and European Union representatives and to try to draw up proposals regarding the aforementioned concerns of Russia and the Customs Union before September 12," he said.
Putin said they had reaffirmed at the meeting that "the implementation of the Ukraine-EU association agreement created significant risks to the Russian economy." "We proved that with the agreement's text, direct references to concrete articles of the agreement and recalled that it was a subject of zero-rate customs tariffs, technical regulations and phytosanitary norms," Putin said.
Putin warned that in the case Ukraine accepts EU technical regulations "we will be unable to supply our products to Ukraine at all because our technical norms are different."
"We will be unable to supply our machines and any industrial products. And we will be unable to accept Ukrainian farming products because of different approaches to phytosanitary control," the Russian president reminded the reporters.
"We think we have many problems," Putin pointed out.
"Colleagues uphold far from all our arguments but at least they have heard us," he admitted.
"In the end we agreed to speed up the exchange of opinions and to try to find at least some solutions," he noted.
"If we fail to reach any agreements and our concerns are neglected, we will have to take measures in order to protect our economy," he stressed once again.
"We have told them about possible measures. And our partners will consider all cons and pros and make relevant decisions. Each side to this process has a right to make any decisions, as we are all sovereign states. We will respect any choice of our Ukrainian and European partners. Hopefully, they will treat our measures towards the protection of the Russian economy with equal respect," Putin said.
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