Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov assures that Ukraine today is not choosing between Russia and the European Union. He stresses: the country chooses its national interests.

He has said about this in an interview to the French publication Le Nouvel Economiste.

“It would be wrong to say that Ukraine is at the crossroads of two alternative ways. We have only one way - our national interests," Mykola Azarov noted.

He reminded that the planned conclusion of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU is a result of hard five-year hard negotiations and it will have many benefits for both sides. "This unique paper is useful in practical terms for Ukraine and the European Union, it also provides creation of a large free trade area," the Prime Minister said.

He called the agreement “a great instrument by its scale,” which in its scope, purpose and socio-economic impacts, including all areas of cooperation, opens the way for further progressive development of Ukraine. According to Azarov, the association will serve as a strategic test of system reforms in Ukraine, whose implementation will help initiating implementation of EU standards.

Continuing the theme of integration processes, the Ukrainian Premier stressed that in this context "Ukraine should not choose between the EU and the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan)." According to him, in terms of international law, all agreements made with the Customs Union do not diminish in any way the legal personality of Ukraine. "They are a supplement to national law and therefore cannot be an obstacle to implementation of the commitments made within the WTO frames, as well as to creation of a deep and universal free trade area between Ukraine and the EU," Mykola Azarov noted.

He believes that the process of Ukraine's integration with the EU can and should go hand in hand with development of strategic partnership with Russia and other Customs Union members.
The Premier noted that by results of 2012, Ukraine had over 36% of foreign trade turnover with the Customs Union member states - USD 63 billion. "We get most of energy resources and raw materials for the economy functioning from these countries and we can not ignore this fact. Moreover, the Customs Union is a major consumer of Ukrainian pipes," he said.

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