Ukraine is ready for negotiations with the Customs Union of the Common Economic Space (CES) to establish a free trade area, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryshchenko has said Friday in the Ukrainian parliament, according to UKRINFORM.

"With a view to resolving all problems the Ukrainian side is ready to finalize the issue of signing an agreement on free trade area between Ukraine and the Customs Union. It will provide mutual abolition or gradual reduction of customs tariffs, and tariff restrictions on mutual trade and other activities," the minister explained. He added that, ideally, such free trade area "must be complete and all-inclusive with every country of the CES".

Asked by MPs, Hryshchenko emphasized: "Ukraine intends to cooperate with the Customs Union, outside the formal membership in it. We are not negotiating with the Customs Union as such. No official conditions have been put forward by the Russian side. It was just a wish to see our country in this union".

Hryshchenko added that now there are agreements on free trade area with every single state - member of the Customs Union. "It is important for Ukraine that the terms of trade with these countries did not deteriorate after the establishment of the Customs Union," he said.

The foreign minister stressed that the main strategic goal is signing a free trade agreement with the EU.

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