The Head of Government noted that the actually position of the agreement on an FTA with the European Union has agreed by 90%; still has not agreed sensitive issues for Ukraine on agriculture and services transporters.
According to him, through the introduction of very low quotas for Ukrainian agricultural products (wheat - about 20 thousand tons, pork - 1,5 thousand tons, poultry meat - 1 thousand tons) "European market practically remains closed to Ukraine. It's not an open market is not free trade," Mykola Azarov said.
According to the Prime Minister, a compromise to find is a gradual, over 10 years, increasing of quotas for Ukrainian food which leads to trade without restrictions and exemptions. "Let's find a compromise position: if you insist on maintaining quotas, we are ready to go to meet and maintain these quotas, but for a fixed term. Let's establish a transition period of 10 years and each year these quotas will increase, and then cancel them," Mykola Azarov suggested.
The Head of Ukrainian Government expressed surprise at restrictions for agricultural products from Ukraine to European markets under the increase of food crisis and unstable climatic conditions in the world. According to Mykola Azarov, Ukraine, which has enough fertile land and favorable climate, provided the necessary reforms in agriculture, would greatly complement the EU market with high-quality food.
As for the second position in the controversial negotiations on the FTA with the EU regarding services to transporters, Mykola Azarov said: "Hundreds of thousands of people working in this business: how can we close it, and tell people that tomorrow they will become unemployed.”
But the Prime Minister expressed hope for consensus in the negotiation process . "Out of what I said, it is clear that our position is flexible and we have a desire to negotiate," he said.
In his turn, British Ambassador to Ukraine Mr. Leigh Turner said he hoped to sign an agreement this year on the FTA between Ukraine and the European Union.
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