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EU, Ukraine to introduce trade pact despite Russian threats

Posted at 8:43 AM, Dec 07, 2015

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and Ukraine say they will introduce a free trade pact next month as planned despite Russia's threat to take retaliatory trade action if its concerns aren't addressed.

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Monday that "this agreement will enter force on January 1, and this agreement is in the interests of the European Union and Ukraine."

Russia has a list of changes it wants made to allay concerns that the agreement will interfere with Russia-Ukraine trade. The EU says the agreement would improve trade between them.

The pact is part of a broader EU-Ukraine deal on closer ties. That deal set off Ukraine's political crisis in November 2013, when former president Viktor Yanukovich rejected it, igniting months of protests that eventually drove him from power.