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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 23.09.2020, 19:37

Ukrainian president in Vilnius vows not to give in to Russia's EU treaty blackmail

BC, Vilnius, 03.12.2015.Print version
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, currently in Vilnius, has said Kiev will not give in to Moscow's blackmail and will not renounce a free trade agreement with the European Union, stressing, however, his readiness to hold further talks with Russia, informs LETA/BNS.

Petro Poroshenko and Dalia Grybauskaite. Vilnius, 2.12.2015. Photo: lrp.lt

"Neither Ukraine, nor the EU will respond to Russia's any blackmail. We are determined to have the free trade agreement coming into force as of Jan. 1, 2016," Poroshenko told a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Wednesday.

 

His comments came a day after representatives of the EU, Ukraine and Russia failed in Brussels to reach a common agreement. Russia says the EU-Ukraine pact would undermine its economy and has threatened Kiev with trade restrictions.

 

The Ukrainian president also said the Ukrainian-Russian trade turnover has dropped four times in recent years. He also underlined that Kiev is ready to attend another round of talks with Russia later this month to "show readiness and wish to negotiate."

 

EU Ambassador to Russia Vygaudas Usackas told BNS the next round of expert-level talks are scheduled for Dec. 7-8. In his words, the EU hopes "the parties will come to a common understanding by December 31."

 

Meanwhile Lithuanian President Grybauskaite underlined that the EU is ready to talk to Russia but "no third party can dictate or blackmail."

 

"When serious changes with neighbors are taking place in the area of trade, it's always better to agree. That's why the EU has agreed to be involved in the trilateral talks as Russia is trying to prove that it will sustain serious damage," the Lithuanian president said.

 

"If Russia continues to impede the process and will continue sabotaging, both sides – the EU and Ukraine – are ready to launch talks on a free trade agreement as of January 1," Grybauskaite added.

 

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign a free trade agreement with the EU during the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November, 2013 led to protests in Kiev, resulting in the president's overthrowing. Later on, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, and fighting with Moscow-supported separatists also broke out in eastern Ukraine.

 






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