Thursday

14th Dec 2017

Ukraine urges Russia to accept 'reality' on EU relations

  • Azarov: 'To build a fence to protect yourself from changes using artificial barriers is simply pointless' (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Ukraine's Prime Minister has urged Russia to face the "reality" that his country will create a free trade zone with the EU.

Speaking to press in Kiev on Wednesday (28 August), Azarov said: "After signing the association agreement with the EU, Ukraine will create a free trade zone with the EU - this has to be inevitably accepted as a reality."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He added: "The whole world is changing, the global system of economic relations. But to build a fence to protect yourself from changes using artificial barriers is simply pointless."

Earlier this month Russia imposed extra customs checks on Ukrainian imports for several days, causing a near standstill at the border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also warned Ukraine that the Customs Union - a Russia-led trade bloc with Belarus and Kazakhstan - might take "protective measures" if Ukraine goes ahead with the EU move.

Launched in 2010, the Customs Union aims at establishing a more political Eurasian Union by 2015 in what some critics describe as an attempt by Moscow to recreate a Soviet-style bloc.

Meanwhile, two Ukrainian opposition leaders, Vitali Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, visited Brussels this week to prepare the ground for an EU summit with post-Soviet countries in Vilnius in November.

Speaking after a hearing of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, German centre-right MEP Elmar Brok, its chairman, noted that Ukraine's future "should be decided in Kiev, not Moscow or Brussels."

Brok added that Russia's threats of economic sanctions are a breach of World Trade Organisation rules.

Ukraine hopes to sign the political association and free trade pact at the Vilnius event.

But deputies warned that the step is conditional on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych addressing the use of selective justice, ensuring the political neutrality of the prosecutor general's office and releasing former PM Yulia Tymoshenko from jail to receive medical attention in Germany.

Under the EU treaties, the support of a majority of MEPs is required before the association agreement can enter into force.

The Lithuanian government, which currently holds the Union's rotating six month presidency, has identified the EU-Ukraine pact as a top priority.

The move is part of the EU's so-called Eastern Partnership policy, launched in 2009, which aims to build closer relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.

The agreements do not offer the prospect of accession to the EU, but the Union is keen to use access to its markets, as well as prospects of visa-free travel, to stimulate political reform.

Putin warns Ukraine against EU pact

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine he will take "protective measures" if it signs an EU free trade pact.

Opinion

Ukrainian PR: Beyond a paint job

Ukraine’s government recently allocated money for measures aimed at “encouraging” international media sources to say nice things about it.

Opinion

Ukraine's Crimean Tatars need EU attention

Mention Ukraine, and everybody thinks of the Vilnius summit. But Ukraine has other issues to deal with, such as the fate of the Crimean Tatars.

Migration looms over summit, as Africa pledges fall short

EU summit leaders on Thursday will not reach any deal on migration, while Italy and the Visegrad Group countries confront each other on the Trust Fund for Africa. The debate on internal EU asylum relocation, however, remains off the table.

Romania searching for EU respectability

Ten years after its accession and a year before holding the EU presidency, the fastest-growing EU economy wants to "engage" more with its partners. But concerns over the rule of law continue to give the country a bad image.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Estonia completes two out of three priority digital bills
  2. EU countries are not 'tax havens', parliament says
  3. Tech firms' delays mean EU needs rules for online terror
  4. Slovak PM: Human rights are not a travel pass to EU
  5. British PM limps to EU capital after Brexit defeat
  6. US pleads for clarity on Brexit aviation 'black hole'
  7. Tusk migration note prompts institutional 'hysteria'
  8. Migration looms over summit, as Africa pledges fall short