During a visit to Tallinn yesterday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara assured officials that a Ukraine-EU free trade agreement would open new opportunities for Russia as well, and that Russia would therefore soon give up hostile rhetoric on such an agreement.
In an effort to discourage the agreement, due to be signed in November, Russia has threatened Ukraine with trade sanctions, warning that the ensuing economic blow would be disastrous. President Vladimir Putin's economic adviser, Sergey Glazyev, has said sanctions would lead to Ukraine's collapse, reported ETV.
But sanctions would be reciprocally damaging for Russian interests, Kozhara said. Moreover, he said, Russia's declarations are not related to economic factors at all.
"We also understand that there may be some sentiments about Ukraine's approximation with the European Union. But after Ukraine signs the Association Agreement, we hope that all those sentiments will vanish and we can continue our friendly, mutually beneficial relationship with Russia," Kozhara said at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry.