Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko has said that there is a high probability of Ukraine's reorientation to accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan if the European Union refuses to provide membership prospects to Ukraine. He announced this in an interview with the Day newspaper, UKRINFORM reported.

Tihipko declined to predict whether the verdict against former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko would be an obstacle to the signing of the association agreement and the creation of a free trade area with the EU. "I don't know. Further negotiations will show. We are still talking about [membership] prospects, which currently don't exist," he said.

At the same time, given harsh statements made by European officials, Tihipko said that Ukraine could reorient itself from the European course to membership of the Customs Union. "If the European Union clearly says 'no,' then the probability of [Ukraine's] reorientation to the Customs Union is rather high. The people who currently want to see Ukraine in the Customs Union can get a very strong argument for the thesis that we need to move towards this union," he said.

When asked how the authorities will find a way out of this situation, given the very strong criticism from the international community, Tihipko said that this road runs through reforms, the simplification of tax, customs and labor laws, the drafting of new legislation on bankruptcy, etc.

"In my opinion, it's necessary to conduct all of the work on bringing [Ukrainian legislation] into line with European standards and then start talking about the signing of an agreement on a free trade area with the EU. If there are problems with democracy, then we will talk about this. But the main thing for me today is that Ukraine has not yet brought its legislation into line European standards. Only after this step is completed, we'll be able to talk about the next one," Tihipko said.

Спасибо за Вашу активность, Ваш вопрос будет рассмотрен модераторами в ближайшее время