BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Monday he was “moderately optimistic” after holding talks in Brussels with EU and Ukraine counterparts seeking to implement a free trade agreement at the start of next year.
Ulyukayev spoke to reporters after a meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and the Ukraine economy ministers.
Russia has previously warned that Moscow will curtail Ukraine’s access to vital Russian markets if Kiev implements any part of the trade deal. Ulyukayev said there had been no discussions of sanctions at the meeting.
(Reporting By Alastair Macdonald, writing by Philip Blenkinsop)