When two of the richest presidents in the world currently met this morning in Minsk, the tensions was palpable. As Poroshenko (net worth ~$1.3 bn) and Putin (~$440bn) prepared for talks, the threats, promises, and hopes were everywhere...
- *POROSHENKO SAYS 'OPTIMISTIC' ABOUT TODAY'S MEETINGS IN MINSK, INTERESTED IN EU, CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENTS
But Vladimir Putin - having reminded everyone that Russian capital represents 32% of the Ukraine banking system (threat or statement?) warned any EU association pact may force Russia to scrap trade preferences.
As AP reports,
The presidents of Russia and Ukraine sat down for talks Tuesday, meeting face-to-face for the first time since June on the fighting that has engulfed Ukraine's separatist east.
Russia's Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko were joined by the presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan and three senior officials from the European Union in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.
"The fate of my country and Europe is being decided here in Minsk today. The interests of Donbass (eastern Ukraine) have been and will be taken into account," Poroshenko said Tuesday as the talks began.
- *POROSHENKO SAYS `OPTIMISTIC' ABOUT TODAY'S MEETINGS IN MINSK
- *POROSHENKO SAYS INTERESTS OF DONBAS MUST AND WILL BE RESPECTED
- *POROSHENKO SAYS UKRAINE READY TO RESOLVE ALL TRADE ISSUES
- *POROSHENKO: UKRAINE INTERESTED IN EU, CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENTS
- *POROSHENKO: EU TRADE PACT COMPATIBLE WITH CUSTOMS UNION RULES
- *POROSHENKO: OPEN TO TALKS ON EXIT OPTIONS FOR SIDES TO CONFLICT
The Ukrainian economy’s transition to EU standards will cost it €165 billion over ten years while Russia may lose up to €100 billion ($2.7 billion) from its economy’s forced readjustment, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
“The refusal to use technical norms common in the CIS countries and adaptation to EU standards will cost Ukraine €165 billion within 10 years,” Putin said at a meeting of the leaders of the Customs Union member states and the Ukrainian president.
The economies of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan that form the Customs Union will also be affected, Putin said.
“In the most modest estimates, damage to the Russian economy alone may total 100 billion rubles. Entire sectors of our industry and agribusiness will be affected with all ensuing consequences for economic growth rates and employment,” Putin said.
“Losses will also be sustained by Belarus and Kazakhstan,” Putin said.
Russia will have to cancel preferences for Ukrainian imports as a measure to protect its market and introduce the standard trade regime in the conditions of Ukraine’s agreement on association with the EU, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
“In full compliance with the provisions of the CIS Free Trade Agreement and WTO norms we will have to cancel preferences for imports from Ukraine,” Putin said.
“I’d like to say that we are not going to discriminate against anybody, we won’t do this,” the Russian president said.
“We will just have to introduce the standard trade regime for Ukraine; the same that is applied also between Russia and the EU,” he added.
- *PUTIN SAYS MILITARY ESCALATION WON'T SOLVE UKRAINIAN CONFLICT
- *PUTIN SEES COST OF EU PACT AT BILLIONS OF EUROS FOR UKRAINE
- *PUTIN SEES NO UKRAINE RESOLUTION WITHOUT TALKS WITH EAST ENVOYS
- *PUTIN: UKRAINE'S EU PACT MAY PROMPT RUSSIA TO DEFEND ITS MARKET
- *PUTIN: RUSSIAN CAPITAL MAKES UP 32% OF UKRAINE'S BANKING SYSTEM
- *PUTIN: UKRAINE CLOSELY INTEGRATED INTO EX-SOVIET ECONOMIC SPACE
* * *
Doesn't exactly sound de-escalation-y to us?