Top officials from Ukraine, Russia and the European Union have met as Moscow seeks reassurance that its economy will not be damaged by the recently-signed association and free trade agreement between Kyiv and Brussels.
The EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said Russia would set out its concerns in detail by the end of next week and the three parties would meet again in September.
Ukraine’s foreign minister said Moscow had nothing to fear but insisted there was no going back on a done deal.
“A very important point is that it is recognised that the agreement brings benefits to all. We agreed about a structured dialogue. We are not in any way talking about problems that have arisen from the implementation of the Association Agreement. We’re talking about potential risks,” Pavlo Klimkin told reporters.
After the meeting, Russia’s Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukaev said changes were needed to a deal that did carry potential risks for his country.
Moscow fears that the end of trade barriers between Ukraine and the EU will hit Russian production.
Beforehand, Russia had asked for the accord to be suspended until Moscow’s concerns were addressed – a demand which the EU rejected.