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Ukraine should not be forced to choose between Russia and the EU – deputy

February 18, 2014, 20:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Head of a Russian State Duma Committee noted that Brussels continued pressuring Kiev into signing an association agreement with the European Union

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© TAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

MOSCOW, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Alexei Pushkov, the head of a Russian State Duma Committee for International Affairs, on Tuesday urged the European Union to give up a geopolitical approach to Ukraine and try to resolve “the Ukrainian problem” jointly with Russia.

“I do not think that the European Union or Russia will be able to solve the Ukrainian problem all alone,” Pushkov said during a Moscow-Berlin video conference, urging EU partners to exert effort to stabilize the Ukrainian economy together.

He noted that Brussels continued pressuring Kiev into signing an association agreement with the European Union.

Pushkov believed that the European Union was unlikely to take any real steps to help Ukraine to find a way out of the crisis.

“The European Union should stop exerting pressure on Ukraine. Though we are no insisting that Ukraine sign an entry agreement with the Customs Union, we have already offered it money. The European Union is giving nothing, not even a sixpence, but is putting forth endless demands instead,” Pushkov said, adding that Russia has recently announced its decision to issue a second 2-billion-dollar tranche to Ukraine.

Pushkov added that Ukraine should be able to form a work-able government, which, in his view, should represent the interests of the whole society rather than of liberal opposition.

“The Ukrainian society is split and the opposition is weak. The government should represent the majority of Ukraine’s population. Otherwise, a crisis bearing the name of Yanukovich will gradually evolve into a crisis named after Klichko or Yatsenyuk,” Pushkov went on to say.

Pushkov believes that although Russia and the European Union may certainly have their own interests in Ukraine, they should give up a purely political approach and should not force Ukraine into choosing between Russia and the European Union.

“It is impossible to force Ukraine to have only one choice,” Pushkov said in conclusion.

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