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Russia Rules Out Compromise Trade Deal With Ukraine

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) and his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, in Sochi on August 11
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ruled out a compromise deal with Ukraine today which would have allowed Kyiv to pursue free-trade pacts with the European Union and a Russian-led regional bloc.

Medvedev said that to secure access to Russia's market and a much-needed gas price discount, Ukraine would have to become a full member of the customs union that Moscow has set up with other former Soviet republics Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has rejected similar proposals because joining the Russian bloc is incompatible with Kyiv's plans to negotiate a free-trade deal with the EU.


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