MOSCOW, May 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned Thursday that new pitfalls in the country’s economic development cannot be ruled out due to strained ties with Ukraine and possibly with other ex-Soviet states.
“The next few years will be marked by continued instability and strained environment in some markets. New risks cannot be completely ruled out, including a change in the customs regime with several CIS countries. This can be Ukraine or Moldova,” Medvedev said.
The remarks came on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with the leaders of Kazakhstan and Belarus, signed a treaty on the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union, cementing closer economic ties between the countries.
The prime minister said Western sanctions against a number of Russia-based companies were likely to impact Russian export figures and its trade turnover.
Moscow earlier said it was mulling a revision of Russia’s economic relations with Moldova if it moved closer to signing an association agreement with the European Union, since this decision would change Chisinau’s neutral status.
Russia also fears Ukraine might consider tougher customs regulations for Russia after the crisis in Ukraine put a strain on their bilateral relations.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the military operation launched by the Kiev authorities in response to pro-federalization rallies in the country’s east, prompting Kiev to impose restrictions for Russian citizens wishing to enter Ukraine.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.