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Stability in Europe in Russian, EU interests — European commissioner

April 16, 2014, 18:08 UTC+3 STRASBOURG
European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule says developments in Ukraine would show in the next days “what kind of choice Russia has made”
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European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule

© EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA

STRASBOURG, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The crisis in Ukraine, which may escalate into large-scale bloodshed, promotes neither Russian nor the European Union’s interests, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, told members of the European Parliament on Wednesday.

“It is in the interests of both Russia and the European Union to avoid violence and bloodshed in Europe, which may become uncontrolled. It is in our common interests to work together in order to create a common zone of stability, prosperity and democracy in Europe,” Fule said, adding that developments in Ukraine would show in the next days “what kind of choice Russia has made”.

The European commissioner confirmed once again that Brussels was ready to sign the remaining provisions of the association and free trade agreement with Kiev. He did not specify the date, noting that it would be possible “soon after the presidential election in May”.

In the light of Ukraine’s crisis, Fule also mentioned the problem of energy security in Europe. “President Vladimir Putin’s letter to 18 leaders of European states and partner countries clearly demonstrates the importance of this issue,” he said, adding that Russia-Europe relations in the energy sphere were based on interdependence.

Europe is the biggest market for Russian gas and oil, he said. In response to latest developments and following a request by the Council of the European Union, the European Commission would examine the energy security of the European Union and present a comparison plan to reduce the EU’s energy dependence on supplies from Russia, he added.

Fule stressed the importance of a meeting between Ukraine’s acting foreign minister and the foreign ministers of Russia, the United States and the European Union in Geneva on April 17.

Commenting on the issue of Crimea’s accession to Russia, Fule said that the European Commission was still working on practical parameters of a non-recognition policy.

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