Kiev is not ready for similar response to Russia's partial lifting of sanctions: expert

KIEV, October 15. /TASS/. Kiev will not be able to give a similar response to Moscow’s decision to lift restrictions on supplies from three Ukrainian enterprises due to possible pressure from right-wing radical groups, as well as from the West, head of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics, political scientist Ruslan Bortnik told TASS.

“We should not expect a public reaction from the Ukrainian authorities in this regard, some kind of reciprocal measures. So far, the Ukrainian side is not ready to improve even economic relations with the Russian Federation, to revise the restrictions that were previously imposed due to several factors. First of all, due to pressure right-wing radical groups that will use any, even the smallest concession towards Russia as a betrayal, as an instrument of struggle against the ruling party in elections and on the streets,” Bortnik said.

The Western infleunce is the second cause of Kiev’s incapability to take reciprocal measures in response to the partial lifting of restrictions, the analyst added.

“Now it is impossible due to the influence of Western partners – for them the restoration of economic cooperation and, accordingly, Russia’s influence on the Ukrainian economy is the way to losing control over the Ukrainian economy,” the expert said.

Bortnik noted that the merit of the removal of restrictions belongs to the Opposition Platform – For Life party, which shows its effectiveness in communicating with Russia and is trying to score points in preparation for the local elections on October 25.

However, the political scientist admitted that negotiations on lifting restrictions are not only an election step. “To some extent Opposition Platform – For Life party is meeting the social demand for direct negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, which are supported by 50-70% of Ukrainians, depending on a social survey,” Bortnik recalled. In his opinion, in this way “Russia can establish a direct dialogue with certain regional financial and industrial groups” of Ukraine. Ukrainian companies that get the access to the Russian market will receive serious competitive advantages. However, he admitted, they may also find themselves under pressure from Ukrainian radical groups.

On October 6, Prime Minister promised to consider the request of head of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform – For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk on the possible partial lifting of the counter-sanctions Russian had imposed on a number of industrial enterprises in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, President supported Mishustin’s proposal to allow the supply of products to the country from three Ukrainian enterprises, which were subject to retaliatory restrictive measures. The Russian government allowed the supply of equipment and products to the Russian market from the Rubezhansk Cardboard and Container Plant of the Lugansk Region, the Bratslav company and the Barsky Machine-Building Plant of the Vinnitsa Region.

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