Azarov: Ukraine's economy could have collapsed if association agreement with EU had been signed now

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Dec. 13, 2013, 4:36 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov

If Ukraine had signed an association agreement with the European Union at current conditions, this would have inevitably led to its economy's collapse and default due to dramatic increase in the trade deficit and insufficient foreign currency reserves, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said.

"We want to agree with the EU on conditions for a transition period that would help level off our trade balance," Azarov said at a nationwide roundtable meeting under the motto 'Unite Ukraine' on Friday.

"It is necessary to eliminate the obvious misbalances in the tariffs and quotas on a number of agrarian products," Azarov said.

The government also plans to resume financing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but this should be done on conditions acceptable to Ukraine, Azarov said. "It is unacceptable to sharply increase utility tariffs, cut social expenses, and freeze salaries and social allowances," Azarov said.

Simultaneously, Ukraine intends to resolve all issues in economic relations with Russia that could lead to $15 billion trade deficit in 2014 at a session of a Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission on December 17, he said.

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