EU's offer to Ukraine is still on the table.
The presidents of
the European Council and the European Commission have criticised Russia for
putting pressure on Ukraine to scrap plans for political and
trade agreements with the European Union.
Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel
Barroso today issued a joint statement in which they condemned Russia's actions
and praised the pro-EU demonstrators who have taken to the streets of Kiev.
“It is up to Ukraine to freely decide what
kind of engagement they seek with the European Union," the two men said.
"We therefore strongly disapprove of the Russian position and
The Ukrainian government's official
statement said that it had suspended talks with the EU in the interests of
“national security” and a desire to re-launch “active dialogue” with Russia.
“Ukrainian citizens have again shown these last days that they
fully understand and embrace the historic nature of the European association”, the
statement said. More than 100,000 people rallied in Kiev on
Sunday, according to Ukrainian opposition parties. Police estimated the crowd
at about half that number.
Van Rompuy and Barroso insisted that the EU's
offer to Ukraine was still on the table, adding that “we are convinced that
signing the Association Agreement and a DCFTA [Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade
Area], the most ambitious agreement the European Union has ever offered,
provides the best possible support for Ukraine's economic situation, reform
course and modernisation in view of building a prosperous and stable future for
The EU was hoping to sign trade and
political deals with Ukraine at a summit in
Vilnius on 28-29 November with six post-Soviet neighbours.
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