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Medvedev rules out Ukraine 3+1 format membership in Customs Union

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March 18, 2013, 1:17 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Ukraine's membership in the Customs Union in the 3+1 format is impossible and the country needs to either ratify all documents or get only observer status in the organization.
© AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Government Press Service

Gorki - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Ukraine's membership in the Customs Union in the 3+1 format is impossible and the country needs to either ratify all documents or get only observer status in the organization.

"It is obvious that a country that has adopted and ratified all Customs Union and Economic Union documents can be a member of the Customs Union and the Future Eurasian Economic Union. Everything else is not membership, it may be observer status or something else," Medvedev said during a meeting with deputy prime ministers on Monday.

"Our Ukrainian friends like to speak about a 3+1 format and things like that. There will be no 3+1 format. It's either all or nothing, but then it will be observer status or something else," the prime minister said.

Medvedev reiterated that Ukraine needs to ratify and sign all documents to become a full-fledged member of the Customs Union and the European Economic Union.

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov recalled that Kyrgyzstan has expressed interest in joining the Customs Union. The documents that are being drawn up for that, including the treaty, will envision different stages and options for those countries that will want to join the organization.

"Clearly, the movement to full membership will be gradual. We see how it happens in the European Union and with our Kyrgyz and Tajik partners. If other counties are interested, we will enable them to work with us to achieve membership and a certain status," he said.

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