Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said Tuesday that even if not full-scale, Ukraine's economic integration with other former Soviet countries in the Common Economic Space would be a positive thing, RIA Novosti reported.

"In my view, integration is simply inevitable," he said, referring to a mooted zone encompassing Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan with simplified trade and customs regulations.

"Since Ukraine is taking part in the [integration] process, it would be desirable if it assumed all the program obligations simultaneously," Khristenko said. "But a possible delay will not make any less valuable either the process of integration itself or Ukraine's involvement in it, even if not full-scale."

Trade between Russia and Ukraine is currently worth $20 billion, the minister said, adding that integration was always an objective worth working toward.


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