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Ukraine's entry to the Customs Union is impossible if the country signs an Association Agreement with the European Union, but Russia will not interfere with Ukraine's decision, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk on Thursday.
"We in fact are neither 'for' nor 'against' Ukraine's signing an Association Agreement with the EU. This is not our business," Putin said.
According to him, Russia will not close its market for goods from Ukraine, but Ukrainian products will no longer enjoy benefits.
"We reserve the right to use the sixth protocol to the Free Trade Agreement in order to safeguard our market. This does not mean that we will ban imports of Ukrainian goods to our market, this means that these goods will not enjoy benefits as part of the free trade area," Putin said.
"Ukrainian goods will be in the same position as goods from other countries of the world that are WTO members," he said.
"We are ready to protect our market," Putin said, adding that he agreed with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to hold consultations ahead of Ukraine's signing an Association Agreement with the EU.