Ukraine is engaged in negotiations to secure a "deep and comprehensive" free trade agreement with the EU, Gryshchenko said.
Kyiv is discussing "very important matters" in the negotiations that would also allow the country to open trade with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The diplomat said this would be "in the best interests of all the parties in this triangle".
Commenting on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's proposal to form a "harmonious community of economies from Lisbon to Vladivostok," Gryshchenko insisted that the rules for such a free-trade zone should be based on WTO rules "first and foremost".
Ukraine doesn't see any major hurdles, he argued, especially if Russia also includes energy-related issues in the process.
"So we are optimistic, we are ready to be supportive and proactive in that process, but we need to understand that any negotiations on free trade are extremely technical at a certain moment. And they can be very sensitive, as they affect the basic interest of certain important sectors of every country," Gryshchenko said.
EU-Russia 'common market'
The proposal, made during Putin's visit to Germany on 25 November, was dubbed an EU-Russia "common market" by the press. Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's ambassador to the EU, said the first step would be for Russia to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which has been on the table for 16 years.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed doubt about establishing a free-trade area with Russia, saying that the initiative was "not timely" since Moscow was putting in place a customs union with its ex-Soviet neighbours Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The EU-Russia summit held on 8 December marked a turning point, as Russia's customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan is apparently no longer seen as a problem in Brussels.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said Russia could be a member of that customs union and still be a WTO member. The EU hopes Belarus and Kazakhstan will also join the WTO sooner or later, he added.
Trade with Turkey
Regarding free trade with Turkey, Gryshchenko said his country was only in an initial phase of consultations.
As for the free-trade agreement being negotiated with the EU, the Ukrainian minister said it had given rise to "hard talk" discussions involving not only money, but also the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people.
"That's why we're negotiating a balanced deal where the more difficult sectors that need to be reorganised or modernised will be allowed to take a certain amount of time for that […] We also understand that many more 'give and take' talks are needed."
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