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Ukraine takes time-out in association with the European Union

November 22, 2013, 12:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Official statement claims decision has been made “in the interests of state security”

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MOSCOW, November 22. /ITAR-TASS/.Russian newspapers focus on decision of Ukraine’s authorities to suspend the process of preparing for signing an association agreement with the European Union.

Governmental Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes: “Ukraine’s president, experts say, has made a strategic decision and should be prepared the relations with the European Union will get worse.”

Ukraine’s government at a closed meeting on Thursday made a decision to “suspend the process of preparations for signing the association agreement with the EU.” The governmental site says the decision has been made “in the interests of the state security.”

“The decision’s aim is more detailed analysis and processing of measures, which Ukraine should undertake to resume the level of production and the directions of the trade and economic relations with the Russian Federation and other CIS member-states, to form the relevant level of the domestic market, which could offer parity relations between Ukraine and the EU countries, which is a basic approach to the international law and the basis of the country’s economic security,” Rossiiskaya Gazeta quotes the statement from Ukraine’s government.

Head of the Penta applied political research (Ukraine) Vladimir Fesenko says “now the haggling about Ukraine’s joining the Customs Union comes to a new strategic level. Ukraine has actually announced resetting of its foreign policy.” The expert is 90 percent sure the association agreement with the EU will not be signed at the summit in Vilnius.

Head of the Kiev centre for political research and conflict studies Mikhail Pogrebinsky says “the movement only towards Europe, at the expense of relations with Russia, is counterproductive, and it is impossible to sacrifice them, it is fatal.”

Kommersant writes “the association agreement with the EU is failed a week before signing.” A leader of Ukraine’s opposition Arseny Yatsenyuk called the government’s statement “illegal and non-constructive,” and promised an impeachment to President Yanukovich “for treason.”

Kommersant quotes Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt as saying the Ukrainian government sagged unexpectedly in front of the Kremlin.

Ukrainian politicians and political scientists began saying the decision the authorities had undertaken was “the country’s geopolitical U-turn.”

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Boiko says the government was trying to find a solution, where “the industrial slump and Ukraine’s relations with the CIS countries are compensated at the expense of the European market,” and only after that the negotiations with the EU on the association agreement may continue.

Director of the information and analytical center on FSU studies at the Moscow State University Alexei Vlasov stressed the major priority for Viktor Yanukovich is his political future. “Yanukovich plans to run for presidency in 2015, and the issue of the European integration for him is a secondary task,” Kommersant quotes the expert as saying.

“The EU’s pressure on Kiev regarding the release from prison of former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko was excessive,” Head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee Alexei Pushkov told the newspaper. “With liberation of Timoshenko, who remains the Ukrainian opposition’s banner, the European Union could begin preparations for another wave of political pressure on Ukraine so that new people come to power in 2015.”

Komsomolskaya Pravda quotes a Ukrainian MP of the ruling Party of Regions Vadim Kolesnichenko as saying: “We should realize what is more profitable for Ukraine. It is unwise to cause dramatic financial losses in the eastern market, or to cut the relations. Thus, it is only a break, a time-out.


Itar-Tass is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews.

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