EU Should Conclude Association with Ukraine Before Vilnius Summit - MEP

Aug 29, 2013, 08:48 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, August 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Pawel Kowal MEP recommended signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement before the Summit in Vilnius, scheduled for November 2013. The chairman of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee in the European Parliament recommended the signing ahead of schedule as a measure to stop the tension between Russia and Ukraine. The statement was made at the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee special meeting of 28 August, 2013, called by the Chairman Elmar Brok MEP.

The growing pressure Russia made on Ukraine was discussed at the recent EP's Foreign Affairs Committee extraordinary meeting, in the presence of high-ranking EU officials, reads The leaders of Ukraine's opposition parties - Arseniy Yatseniuk and Vitaliy Klitschko - also participated in the meeting.

Elmar Brok MEP commented that EU "needs to assess the political implications of recent threats made by Russia that it might restrict trade with Ukraine in case the country signs an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union. This is a serious development which could cast a heavy shadow on the forthcoming Summit in Vilnius."

Debating on how the EU should respond to these developments, Pawel Kowal MEP stated: "The agreement should be signed not in Vilnius. After what happened [Russia blocking Ukraine's imports - Ed.], it should be signed without delay: tomorrow or next week," as quoted by

Several MEPs noted that although the EU supported Ukraine, the European Union should not become the third party in the 'trade war'. In response, Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director of Europe and Central Asia Department, EEAS, appealed that the EU was not looking to introduce artificial restrictions on trade. According to him, the EU would use diplomatic tools. In particular, the Russia-Ukraine 'trade war' was scheduled for discussion at bilateral meetings within the G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg on September 5-6, 2013.

Notably, on August 22, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Štefan Füle, expressed his indignation at Russia's toughening customs procedures for Ukraine because of the prospective signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Reportedly, starting August 14, Russia's Federal Customs Service has completely and indefinitely stalled exports from Ukraine. A week later, on August 21, the Belgorod custom services resumed customs procedures for Ukrainian export employing, however, some additional control measures.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine