Russia is ready to renew the large-scale economic cooperation with Ukraine as Chairman of Political Council of Opposition Platform - For Life Party Viktor Medvedchuk said in the interview for four Ukrainian TV channels.
He underlined that Opposition Platform – For Life has consistently and principally advocated for the renewal of the economic cooperation with Russia, due to the fact that the sanctions imposed by Russia against Ukraine as Ukraine joined the EU sanctions against Russia, inflicted serious losses on the economy of the country.
“If we consider the export capacity of Ukraine, in the best times, before the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU and Free Trade Area (treaty) in 2011-2012, when there was a peak of the economic development in Ukraine, the supplies of the export products of Ukraine to the EU countries was at the level of $17.5 billion per year. After Ukraine signed the Association Agreement, signed the treaty on the FTA, this capacity of Ukraine, the export offtake at the EU market built up only in 2019 (there is no information for 2020) by $2.5 billion and made $20.7 billion. Now, the reverse of the coin, which is the eastern direction of the export of our production. In Russia and CIS countries, Ukraine exported its advanced technology products for $26 billion. Russia until 2019 remained the main trade partner of Ukraine. After the sanctions were imposed after 2019, this export volume in the territories of Russia and CIS countries reduced to $6 billion. In other words, on one hand, we lost $20 billion, on another hand – we built up $2 billion. One to ten. This is the result of the sanctions imposed by Ukraine; this is the result of the free trade area with the EU that, in fact, destroyed our economy and consequently, the social sphere. This issue of the actualization of the abolishing of the sanctions was always raised,” Medvedchuk underlined.
The politician reminded that in 2019, the Ukrainian delegation met the leader of the government of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev and appealed with a request about the partial lifting of the sanctions concerning the transit of freights in the territory of Ukraine. Russia, according to Viktor Medvedchuk, agreed to it.
“Those companies that deal with transport and transportation of these freights still remember that it was the positive moment that allowed to build up freight traffic. Of course, it is the working places; of course, it is the fees to the budget and many others. Besides, we raised a number of questions then. Moreover, these issues were raised during my meeting with the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, then with the Chairman of the government Mishustin. The Russian side, once more, I underline it, unilaterally went to lifting sanctions from the number of the enterprises as the first stage because we appealed on behalf of the Association of machine-building technologists, particularly, they promoted this issue before our party, appealed to me that it was necessary to lift them from the engineering enterprises that reduced by 22% during 2020 to supply the Ukrainian products to the territory of Russia. From the first three enterprises, these sanctions were lifted; we filed the list with 15 enterprises; we continue this work because 240 enterprises enter the Association of machine-building technologists. Moreover, the issue is about the enterprises tied with the production of vegetables and fruits; the enterprises tied with the paper and cardboard industry. The first enterprise is Rubezhansky paper and cardboard multi-unit enterprise; it is a local economic mainstay, where 1,200 people work. The issue is about two Vinnytsia enterprises – Bratslav that makes a specialty out of the production of milking machines and Barsky engineering plant that releases high-technology products,” Medvedchuk noted.
He underlined that in the Russian market Ukrainian production might participate competitively with European producers.
“It is the place where we might compete. It is the place where our production is competitive. Not in Europe, where our production is not allowed but in Russia. The competition with the European producers might be withstood. That is why this process will continue. I would like to underline the peculiarity: it lies in the fact that it is the unilateral actions of Russia. Russian President stated that Russia is ready to renew the large-scale economic cooperation and it is very important. It is important because the harm from the sanctions imposed as the responsive measures from the side of Russia inflicted global and strategic damage to the economy of Ukraine. The economy of Russia did not suffer for today. You know I reminded the words of Mr. Putin in his interview a few months ago, when he was asked about the sanctions. He said: we do not care about these sanctions. Yes, we have lost during these years, since 2014, $50 billion but we earned over $50 billion. Because we followed the way of import substitution; we established our production, growth of agriculture, growth of industrial production, growth of heavy and high-tech industry in Russia. We were forced to produce things that we purchased earlier. Today we are on the way on the protection of the domestic producers and development of the economy. It is an important fact. That is why when today Mr. Zelensky and his team at all international platform stated that we need to keep, we need to enhance, build up the sanctions against Russia, I believe that we need to follow closely what happens to the economy of Russia, how it responded to the sanctions and then, consequently, take a look into what happened to Ukraine and remind, analyze figures with which I started, concerning the markets in the EU, markets in Russia and the CIS countries,” Medvedchuk added.
Earlier, Russia announced the unilateral lifting of sanctions from three Ukrainian enterprises on the request of Viktor Medvedchuk.
It is about Barsky engineering plant in Vinnytsia that releases high-technology products, Bratslav that makes milking machines and other agricultural and industrial equipment, and Rubezhansky paper and cardboard multi-unit enterprise, which specializes in the production of corrugated board and gypsum plasterboard bases.