Russia is not going to take any steps aimed at undermining the Ukrainian economy, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"I don't know what the Financial Times wrote but no one announced and no one is going to announce any measures to punish Ukraine, nor measures to undermine the Ukrainian economy," he told a press conference in New York on Friday.
Contacts with the Ukrainian side continue, the minister said.
"As regards our retaliatory measures, we never said that we will punish someone," the minister said.
"But should Ukraine fully join the free trade area with the EU, we will be compelled to abandon zero tariff rates on the Ukrainian exports into Russia and we will simply revert to trading with Ukraine under most favorable conditions. Just that and nothing else," Lavrov said at a briefing in the UN.
Earlier foreign media outlets published extracts from President Vladimir Putin's letters dated September 17 to the Ukrainian president and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barros. In them, Russia allegedly warns of favoring a systemic correction of the Association Agreement, which would reflect the whole spectrum of risks for the Russian-Ukrainian economic relations and Russia's economy as a result of its implementation.
On Friday the Kremlin confirmed that Putin sent letters to the EU and Kiev leaders, setting out Russian stance on the ratification of the EU-Ukraine association agreement. "I can confirm that relevant letters setting out our position on possible consequences of the signed and ratified EU-Ukraine association agreement were sent to the leaders of a number of countries, including Ukraine and the leaders of the European Commission," said Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, responding to a question posed by Interfax.
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