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With political will, Ukraine and the countries of the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) can cooperation as widely as possible even without Ukraine's entry into this integration association. Otherwise, the parties face the risk of appearance of new dividing lines in Europe, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Russia, Representative of Ukraine's OSCE Chairmanship Volodymyr Yelchenko announced at the round table OSCE and European Security in Moscow on Wednesday, Ukrinform reported.
"We have to do a big and thorough job. And categorical, furthermore based on sheer emotions evaluations of our choice under the principle 'either-or' are hardly appropriate. A real look at the things confirms that with the political will nothing prevents either Ukraine or countries of the Customs Union from bringing our cooperation to the highest level, taking into account the real possibilities of the parties, just without Ukraine's entry into the Customs Union," Yelchenko said.
He stressed that otherwise, "we risk once again to face the prospect of new dividing lines in Europe, while the OSCE is struggling namely with this."
The ambassador noted that the future of European security depends not only on the OSCE. "As dividing lines on the continent are disappearing, peoples and countries acquire the right to independently determine their place in the international community, while integrating into a variety of unions, or remaining non-aligned and neutral. These integration processes have become the dominant trend in our common European home," he said.
Yelchenko recalled that since independence Ukraine's sense of European identity has entered the stage of conscious transformation into the public policy of European integration.
"At the same time, Ukraine is considering integration with European structures and cooperation within the framework of integration projects in the CIS as two complementary processes. Making a systemic effort to transform its economy, increase the pace of its development, bring the quality of life and well-being of the population to the standards of developed European countries, Ukraine is interested in entering a free trade area with the European Union and, at the same time, in reducing in the eastern direction the barriers to trade and economic cooperation with the countries of the Customs Union," Yelchenko said.
He noted that Ukraine sees serious economic problems faced by a number of Western European countries, and realizes that they cannot but affect the EU's relations with its eastern neighbors. "It is known that not all integration problems are solved in the framework of the Customs Union, too" Yelchenko underscored.