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14 Nov, 2013 09:44

Russian arms boss warns Ukraine, EU over planned agreement

Russian arms boss warns Ukraine, EU over planned agreement

The deputy PM in charge of the weapons industry says Russia would remove all ‘sensitive’ production facilities from Ukraine if the association agreement with the EU is signed, and he doesn’t believe Ukraine can count on eventual EU entry anyway.

We will not be able to place certain sensitive technology [in Ukraine], we will have to completely localize them on Russian Federation territory. This means problems connected with the future cooperation in the aircraft and space industry and many more spheres,” Dmitry Rogozin told reporters.

The official said that the EU association agreement was just a way to tease Ukraine and Moldova as even if they signed it, the possibility of full EU membership for these nations remained extremely slim.

Most likely they will never become fully-fledged EU members, but they will take obligations to observe foreign norms and standards. We call upon the EU to stop teasing our partners so that they do not make thoughtless steps. Don’t dangle a carrot in front of their noses, as they do with a well-known domestic animal, with full understanding that it will keep marching forward without an ability to even lick this carrot,” Rogozin explained.

Deputy PM Rogozin is also Russia’s plenipotentiary for relations with the breakaway region of Transdniester and he warned Moldova that entering an agreement with the EU without heeding Transdniester’s opinion could bring dire results.

You should bear in mind that the lack of dialogue with Transdniester in the Republic of Moldova could lead to restarting of the conflict and then you would gain a territory with existing conflict,” the official said in press comments, addressing the EU leaders.

Apart from that Rogozin noted that the Eastern Partnership program, to be considered at the forthcoming EU summit in Vilnius, was dangerous for the European bloc as the new associations “meant that EU was collecting countries that were not simply experiencing an economic crisis, but were on a brink of default.” The deputy PM called upon the European politicians not to distance Russia from the project and analyze all of its possible negative consequences.

The third Eastern Partnership Summit will take place on November 28-29 in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. The conference is dedicated to strengthening trade ties between the European economic bloc and six states in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. All of these countries are Russia’s neighbors and close economic partners.

Russia, which is currently building its own economic bloc – the Customs Union – has repeatedly warned about the possible negative consequences of new EU ties for former Soviet republics and promised to launch protectionist measures if the association agreement is signed.