The 16th round of talks between Ukraine and the European Union on the creation of a free trade area, which is an integral part of the negotiation process on the EU-Ukraine association agreement, opens in Brussels on April 4.

The negotiations in the format of working groups will last until April 8.

The sides are expected to discuss the provisions of services, tariff proposals, energy, customs procedures, intellectual property rights, rules of origin, and sustainable development.

The Ukrainian delegation at the talks will be headed by Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Valeriy Piatnytsky, who said on Sunday that Ukraine "wants to see itself on new markets, rather than just thinking about how to protect its own."

As UKRINFORM reported, Ukraine and the EU are planning to complete negotiations on the association agreement, including the creation of a free trade area, by the end of this year.

The current negotiation process caused a negative reaction from Russia, which is concerned about the possible increase in the inflow of Ukrainian goods to Russia due to competition between European and Ukrainian producers.

In particular, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned of a possible "closure of the borders" for Ukrainian goods.

Russia intends to persuade Ukraine to give up the creation of a free trade area with the EU in favor of joining the Common Economic Space within the CIS.

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