According to UNIAN, head of Duma Committee on International Affairs Alexey Pushkov told the press: "Ukraine needs to overcome its fears that we will entrench its sovereignty. I can't remember such attempts. At least since 1998 when we signed and ratified the Big Agreement between Ukraine and Russia on guaranteeing the inviolability of territory," said Pushkov. In his opinion, "joining the Customs Union (CU) is economically beneficial for Ukraine."
At the same time political component plays an important role in Ukraine: "There are concerns about whether Ukraine will be under Russia's foot," he added. After his conversation with Ukraine's representatives in OSCE he understood that the Party of Regions wants to find something in between the EU and the CU to benefit from both organizations.
Pushkov also noted that Russia is interested in Ukrainian market.
"We are naturally interested in Ukraine joining the Customs Union. It is an expansion by 45 million people that constitute the Ukrainian market," stated Pushkov. He noted that the EU considers an optimal number to be around 450-480 million people. "They have reached that number now," said the deputy. "And the US, Mexico and Canada markets constitute 600 million people," he added.
"That is why we need to expand. Ukraine will take us over 200 million: right now we have 175 and with Ukraine we will have 220. It is a big expansion. It is also profitable for Kazakhstan and Belarus," thinks the head of the committee.