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Belarus would welcome Ukraine’s accession to Customs Union, Lukashenko says

Belarus would welcome Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union and Single Economic Space, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko told a press conference for central and regional Belarusian mass media on 17 June.

The Belarusian President said there are a series of factors behind Ukraine’s decision whether to join the Customs Union or not. In his words, previous Ukrainian administration has led the nation away from integration on the post-Soviet space. In addition, the West and the United States keep Ukraine on a tight leash.

“Ukraine pursues the free trade zone policy today. But Russia puts the matters in the right way. What about the WTO? If Ukraine nullifies customs duties on certain EU-made goods, they may flow through the country like through a black hole and undermine economic stability in Belarus and Russia. With a view to this, Belarus insists on the necessity to introduce a group of exclusions from the free trade regime within the CIS.

Alexander Lukashenko believes that there are no grounds for Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union and SEC yet. But hope springs eternal, and we would like to see Ukraine a full-fledged member of the Customs Union,” said the President. He stressed that Belarus and Russia see eye to eye in this issue.

Alexander Lukashenko also praised the progress in Belarus-Ukraine relations. “There is no suspicion in our relations with Ukraine and it cannot be there,” summarized the President.

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