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The decision to suspend Ukraine's European integration course is dictated by economic reasons and is of tactical nature, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said in Ukraine’s Parliament, ForUm correspondent reports.
"This is a difficult decision, but it is the only possible one under the current economic situation in Ukraine ... It is dictated solely by economic reasons and is of tactical nature," PM said.
Azarov stressed that the government was clearly fulfilling all EU tasks.
However, he noted that Ukraine has a large foreign debt, including to the IMF, formed in 2008-2009. In addition, Ukraine has decreased chemical production by 19 %. In particular, due to high gas prices, there is 50% reduction in mechanical engineering, 6% reduction in metallurgical production. Exports to Russia fell by about $ 2 billion, to India - by 15.6%, to Korea - 65%, to Indonesia - by 31.4 %.
"How can we ignore the fact that the CU decided to shut down the free trade regime with Ukraine in case of signing of the Association with the EU?" Azarov wondered.
Special attention in his speech the PM paid to lowering Fitch credit rating position. The main reason became the unsettled economic and trade relations with Russia.
"The last straw was the stance of the IMF, stated in the letter to the Cabinet of Ministers, received on 20 November. In particular, the IMF demands: to double utility rates, freeze salaries, pensions, social assistance at the current level, substantially reduce budget expenditures, eliminate preferential taxation for agricultural producers and so on.
Azarov noted that, proceeding from the abovementioned, it becomes urgent for Ukraine to resume normal relations with Russia.