GORKI, July 7 (RIA Novosti) – The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Council is to consider protective measures for trade with Moldova on July 16, Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Monday.
“As far as possible protective measures in trade relations with Moldova are concerned, this issue will be considered at the July 16 council meeting,” the deputy prime minister said.
Shuvalov also mentioned that Moscow might put a number of bilateral treaties with Moldova on hold, stressing that the 1969 Vienna Convention permits the suspension or termination of an international treaty, if the conditions under which it was signed change dramatically.
“After the Eurasian Economic Commission Council meeting, we will start preparing acts for the Russian Federation, governmental acts or even legislative bills, if the need arises to suspend certain international treaties. But this should be done at the government’s initiative,” Shuvalov said.
The EEC, formed by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, is a permanent supranational regulatory body that promotes the “functioning and development” of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space.
Moldova signed its EU association agreement on June 27, together with Georgia and Ukraine. The agreement envisages the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU.
Moldova has a free-trade agreement with Russia within the framework of CIS. Shuvalov stated that when it was signed in 1994, its signatories envisioned completely different principles of common economic space, free-market labor, capital and services.
Russia has repeatedly expressed deep concern over the agreement with the EU, saying it would need to protect its market if it faces an uncontrolled flow of duty-free goods from the EU.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).