Medvedev: Ukraine cannot join Customs Union in special format

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Oct. 18, 2011 17:13
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, second left, attend a meeting in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011.
Photo by AP
Donetsk, Oct. 18 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Russia has not set any particular deadlines for Ukraine to decide whether to join the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union, but it rules out that Ukraine could join it in some special format different from the other members, President Dmitry Medvedev said.
"We are maintaining dialogue on the Customs Union, but we have never set any deadlines by which [Ukraine] should make a decision, or otherwise good bye," Medvedev said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Donetsk.

Some high-ranking Ukrainian officials have said that "accession to the Customs Union is not on their agenda," Medvedev said. "It would have been better on the agenda for them. But nevertheless, we will see what comes out of these dialogues. We are always open to discussing any issue with our Ukrainian partners," he said.

The Russian president said he had told his Ukrainian counterpart openly that "there can be no accession to the Customs Union, as well as, by the way, to the European Union or any other union, in some special format."

A country wishing to join the Customs Union is supposed to sign all documents and take on all obligations, otherwise "this is impossible," he said.

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