Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union is complicated by the existence of obligations to the World Trade Organization, foreign minister of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara said in interview to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta Russian newspaper.
"I would like to note that Ukraine was one of the first CIS countries to join the WTO. Therefore, considering the offers of our partners for the entry into the Customs Union, we proceed from the existing international obligations, including those under the WTO," Kozhara said, answering the question why Ukraine refuses to join the Customs Union.
He also reminded that Ukraine has always stressed its interest in cooperation with all the CIS countries and recognizes the importance of the Customs Union as the main trade partner, since total trade turnover with the member states in 2012 exceeded 60 billion U.S. dollars.
"At the same time, Ukraine, being the member of the international community, has given priority to the integration into the global trading system, which, like our Russian partners, we regard as key for sustainable economic development of the country," he said.
"It's no secret that the idea of participation in the Customs Union and the continuation of the European integration course have approximately the same number of supporters. Based on this, we have to be balanced and to listen to our citizens, as well as to take into account the expert findings, especially those of the economists, and such are ambiguous," Kozhara said and added that despite this, the Ukraine and Russia continue seeking the cooperation mechanism with the CU.
"The permanent working contacts with the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Commission, and the discussion of the topic at all the levels of the political dialogue indicate our active dialogue on cooperation with the Customs Union," Kozhara said.
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