Russia, EU Representatives to Engage in Frank Talks over UkraineUkraine | March 3, 2015, Tuesday // 14:55| views
A protest in favor of Ukraine's EU Association Agrement. Photo: BGNES/EPA
Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev and EU TRade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom are to hold talks over the implementation of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
Representatives of Ukraine will not be present at the negotiations, ITAR TASS reported.
Ulyukayev stated that he expects '' a frank conversation'' regarding Russia's concerns on the issue.
The agreement implementation had been put on halt for 15 months last year, after tripartite talks in Brussels.
Russia firmly opposed the launch of the EU accession mechanism for Ukraine in September 2014 on the grounds that it could adversely affect Russian foreign trade. The reason then was said to be the fact that Ukraine would be a member of both EU free trade zone, and the CIS trade zone.
The latter stands for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and is a trade agreement among Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
Russian representatives threatened Ukraine that if it chooses to violate the September agreement, there will be trade and economic consequences.