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Russia Offers Ukraine Multibillion-dollar Joint Projects if No EU Treaty is Signed

Russia could launch multibillion-dollar joint projects with Ukraine aimed at diversifying the country's economy if Kiev fails to sign a European Union association agreement, a Russian presidential adviser on regional economic integration has said.

In the interview with Expert magazine, to be published Monday, Sergei Glazyev said Russia planned to offer Kiev the projects that "will significantly increase the capacities of Ukraine's economy, making it more diversified, science-based and stable."

"In nuclear sphere, there are plans to launch powerful production in Ukraine based on closed fuel cycle for nuclear energy. The country will be able to produce fuel rods for its nuclear power plants using Russian technologies," Glazyev said.

Glazyev also said Russia could extend its cooperation with Ukraine in space, atomic power engineering and aviation sector if no EU deal is sealed. He said Russia and Ukraine could jointly produce Antonov civilian aircraft.

In August, Glazyev warned that the EU deal would be "suicidal" for Ukraine because it would trigger a permanent tightening of customs procedures for Ukrainian goods entering Russia. Russia and Ukraine have had a series of politically driven commercial spats since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The EU Association Agreement, aimed at establishing political association and economic integration between the EU and Ukraine, is expected to replace the 1998 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement as a basis for bilateral relations. The new deal was initiated in March 2012 in Brussels after five years of negotiations.

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