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It is important for Ukraine to have the most favourable trade regime with its key trading partners, in particular, the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Leonid Kozhara at the U.S. Helsinki Commission hearing.
"Russia and the Customs Union as a whole are the key trade partners of Ukraine. Should not Ukraine want the most favourable trade regime with the Customs Union? Of course, it should. Here are just two examples: the European Free Trade Association, which unites four rich European countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein), has held eight rounds of talks on a free trade area with the Customs Union. So does New Zealand," the minister said.
He noted that Ukraine has applied for observer status in the Customs Union. This proposal is being considered and Ukraine hopes for positive results, Kozhara added, Ukrinform reports.
"It is clear that no country can change its geographical position. This means that Ukraine has no other option but to strive to maintain good neighbourly and partnership relations with Russia," the foreign minister said.
In turn, commenting on his position to the press, the minister said that Ukraine's cooperation with the Customs Union is very important, because the Customs Union accounts for more than 40% of Ukrainian foreign trade. Thus, Ukraine will seek the modalities of its cooperation with the Customs Union, which would not conflict with the obligations of the state to other organizations, particularly the World Trade Organization and the European Union.