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Ukrainian Premier Mykola Azarov has said that Ukraine has the right to join the Customs Union holding a referendum after the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union (EU).
“After signing the Association Agreement with the EU, Ukraine does not lose its sovereignty and the right to make decisions independently. There is an article in the Agreement, and the EU officially confirmed this, which does not hinder us to join free trade zones and customs unions and sign agreements. This is our sovereign right,” the premier said in an interview with the Sovetskaya Belorussiya newspaper posted on its Web site, Interfax reports.
He is convinced that if Ukraine one day comes to the conclusion that it is possible and beneficial to participate, including in the Customs Union, the legal referendum will be held.
“Ukrainians will express their opinion, and the decision, which implementation no one will never hinder, will be made at the referendum,” the premier said.
Azarov said that the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU does not mean joining the EU.
“A long period of time will pass for the agreement to finally take effect. A 10-year transition period, during which we’ll gradually introduce European standards and requirements, is foreseen,” the Ukrainian premier said.
“I would not compare the Eurasian Economic Community and European Union. Let’s not make premature plans what will happen in 10 years. Anyway we should use the best international practice and try to implant it on our soil,” he added.