BRUSSELS, December 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union may provide financial compensation to Ukraine for an association deal, EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said at a meeting of the EU Council at the level of foreign ministers of 28 EU states here on Monday.She added that during talks with the president of Ukraine, they examined which short-term concerns prevented him sign an association agreement. Catherine Ashton believes that they would be able to counter them with the assistance of the EU, international financial institutions or commercial loans.
Catherine Ashton also said that the situation around Ukraine "will not affect relations between the EU and Russia and the EU-Russia summit in January."
As part of the meeting in Brussels will also be held a working lunch with European ministers and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
On Sunday, EU leaders made a new attempt to exert pressure on the Ukrainian authorities. European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule made a statement that the EU was suspending consultations with Ukraine on the association agreement until Kiev gives a clear promise to sign it.
“I told deputy PM (Sergei) Arbuzov in Brussels and after that further discussion is conditioned on clear commitment to sign (this agreement). Work on hold, I had no answer,” the European commissioner said. He was immediately supported by the foreign ministers of the presiding in the EU Lithuania and Sweden that is one of the main lobbyists of the EU - Ukraine association process.
In the view of European analysts, these statements are aimed at depriving the Ukrainian president of his important political bargaining chip — that he currently is in negotiations with the EU on the fate of the association agreement. European experts say that thus the European commissioner and two ministers have taken “another clear-cut political step towards the opposition,” at the same time further lessening the chance of signing the association agreement with the current Ukrainian leadership.
Presidential adviser Andrei Belousov does not rule out that Russia can provide a loan to Ukraine for economic support.
“The situation in Ukraine is that the country will be unable to maintain economic stability without a loan from any party,” Belousov said at a meeting of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives on Monday.
Decline in production continues in Ukraine. The country faces the gap in the balance of payments, the presidential adviser said.
“So I don’t rule out that Ukraine can ask for a loan, which will be provided,” he said, adding "I don’t know if a decision is taken at a meeting between the presidents tomorrow".