Russian President Vladimir Putin in Italy for a meeting with Prime Minister Enrico Letta rejected suggestions Moscow had influenced Ukraine to pull out of signing the trade deal with the EU. He outlined how the agreement may have affected Russia.
“If Ukraine signed the agreement on free trade with the EU then – and I am not sure if this is known – two months after the agreement was ratified the custom duties will be reset and reduced by 85 percent. That means that if Russia keeps its free trade agreement with Ukraine we have every reason to suppose that European goods will transit through Ukrainian territory and into our market. We are not ready to throw open our gates to European good like that.”