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Russia warns to exclude Ukraine from CIS free trade zone

Russia will have to evict Ukraine from the free trade zone of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in case Ukraine starts to implement its Association Agreement with the European Union (EU), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday.

"Naturally, we are ready to obey the agreements (about Ukraine's membership in the CIS free trade zone) in case they are properly documented," Medvedev told a government meeting.

Russia would react once it detects the EU providing Ukraine with a trade regime of unilateral benefits.

"In that case Russia will switch to the regular trade regime with Ukraine similar to that with the non-CIS countries," Medvedev said.

He stressed that even if Ukraine remains in the CIS free trade zone, Russia is going to thoroughly monitor Kiev's behavior to rule out that Ukraine de-facto implements the EU deal simultaneously.

The EU announced Friday its decision to delay implementing the Association Agreement with Ukraine till the end of next year, a move regarded as a concession to Russia.

[Source: Xinhua, Moscow, 15Sep14]

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