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Putin Warns Of 'Measures' If Kyiv Signs EU Trade Deal

Ukraine's Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov

Ukraine's Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that if Ukraine signs a free-trade agreement with the European Union, the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan might have to consider adopting "protective measures."

Putin also said a Ukrainian delegation will arrive in Moscow next week to discuss consequences of Ukraine's possible signing of the deal.

A spokeswoman for Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Mykola Azarov, the Ukrainian prime minister, will visit Moscow on August 26 for talks.

Ukraine hopes to sign the repeatedly delayed association agreement with the EU at a summit in Vilnius in November.

The deal would open the Ukrainian market to EU goods.

Russia has made it clear it wants Ukraine to join the Customs Union instead of pursuing closer ties with the EU.

Based on reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS