Russia: Ukraine Can't Be In Both EU, Customs Union

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov says Ukraine cannot be in the European Union and the Russian-led Customs Union at the same time.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) meets with his Ukrainian counterpart, Mykola Azarov, in Gorki on August 26.

Shuvalov made the remark after talks between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in Moscow.

Earlier, Medvedev urged Azarov to discuss "the legal, organizational, and economic consequences" if Kiev signs a free-trade agreement with the European Union. 

Moscow wants Kiev to abandon a possible association agreement with the EU and is pushing it to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan instead. 

Russian customs officials placed extra checks on Ukrainian imports for several days this month, causing massive backups at the border.

It was seen as Moscow pressuring Kiev over the Customs Union issue.

Ukraine hopes to sign a much-delayed free-trade and political association agreement with the European Union at a summit in Vilnius in November.

Source: Radio Free Europe