Trade consequences of regional agreements may be adverse for countries not participating in them, department director of Russian Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Medvedkov said. In particular, Russia’s losses from Ukraine’s associations with the EU may climb to billion values, he added.
“These effects are related to surging trade inside the region, sometimes prejudicing turnovers with countries outside the group. These effects are minimal for us so far by virtue of the commodity structure of the Russian export. An exception is an agreement on Ukraine’s association with the EU, where the trade structure was different, and where we will lose billions”, the official said.
WTO agreements expressly permit its members to create free trade zones or customs unions and integration organizations for service trade liberalization, Medvedkov said. There have already been several hundreds of such associations, he added. (TASS/Business World Magazine)