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Azarov: Ukraine suggests revising transitional provisions of FTA with EU in its favor

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Dec. 12, 2013, 9:18 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukraine has suggested postponing the deadline for the entry into force of certain provisions of the agreement on a free trade area with the EU, in particular in the agricultural sector through revising its transitional provisions, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said.
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Ukraine has suggested postponing the deadline for the entry into force of certain provisions of the agreement on a free trade area (FTA) with the EU, in particular in the agricultural sector through revising its transitional provisions, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said.

"Let's negotiate. We will not change the agreement and the conditions of its implementation, I mean the transitional provisions, let's formulate them in such a way so that they should be favorable for us," the government's press service quoted the prime minister as saying at a meeting with representatives of the agribusiness.

Azarov said that Kyiv considered the introduction of export quotas for sugar and the abolition of duties on sunflower seeds to be discriminatory. "As long as we do not upgrade all of our oil extraction plants, we will not cancel the duty on sunflower seeds," the premier said.

The prime minister explained the initialing of the agreement on association and free trade area with the EU a year and a half ago by the fact that Ukraine's economy was then on the rise and there were no artificially created trade problems with Russia.

"Let's negotiate. Firstly, we need a loan of around 20 billion [euros], and on normal terms. I would not hear about depriving the agricultural sector of the little state support that we provide, because the subsidies in European countries, in particular in our closest neighbor Poland, are much higher than in Ukraine," Azarov said.

The government's press service said that agribusiness representatives present at the meeting expressed support for the decision of the president and the government to suspend the preparation for the signing of the association agreement. According to them, the transition periods should be extended for the adaptation to European conditions. In particular, farmers expressed their concern about the ban on the sale of milk produced in private households (the law on the introduction of such a ban in 2015 was adopted by parliament back in 2009), as well as the requirement for more space per bird in poultry farms, which will enter into force in four years. They said a total of 4.5 million private households in Ukraine needed state support for the rapid adaptation to the EU requirements.

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