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13 September, 2013 11:46   ▪  

The European Parliament calls on Russia to stop pressure against Ukraine

On September 12, the European Parliament passed a resolution where it qualified Russia’s actions with respect to Eastern Partnership countries inacceptable and called on the European Commission to take specific actions to support these countries

The document was supported by all key political parties of the European Parliament. It calls on the European External Action Service to consider the latest developments that go beyond the purely commercial aspect. Also, EMPs called on Russia to stop pressure on Eastern Partnership countries and respect their sovereign right to an own political choice.

READ ALSO: European Parliament resolution on the pressure exerted by Russia on Eastern Partnership countries 

“The Customs Union membership is not compatible with the DCFTAs which we have negotiated with Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia,” Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, said in his statement on the pressure exercised by Russia on countries of the Eastern Partnership at the European Parliament Plenary on September 11. “This is not because of ideological differences… This is due to legal impossibilities… The new generation of Association Agreements will bring enormous transformative benefits through legal approximation, regulatory convergence, and market liberalisation. Independent studies indicate that a DCFTA will bring substantial benefits… But in order to implement these, our partners must enjoy full sovereignty over their own trade policies, which members of the Customs Union will not.”

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According to Mr. Füle, “It may certainly be possible for members of the Eastern Partnership to increase their cooperation with the Customs Union, perhaps as observers; and participation in a DCFTA is of course fully compatible with our partners' existing free trade agreements with other CIS states.” However, “the development of the Eurasian Economic Union project must respect our partners' sovereign decisions. Any threats from Russia linked to the possible signing of agreements with the European Union are unacceptable. This applies to all forms of pressure, including the possible misuse of energy pricing; artificial trade obstacles such as import bans of dubious WTO compatibility and cumbersome customs procedures; military cooperation and security guarantees, and the instrumentalisation of protracted conflicts.”

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EMPs supported the signing and initialing of association agreements with countries that would be ready for it at the Vilnius Summit. Meanwhile, the resolution calls on the Eastern Partnership countries to continue the necessary preparations for the signing or initialing.

In November, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova intend to sign the Association Agreement and DCFTA with the EU at the Vilnius Summit. This will make their entrance to the Russia-led Customs Union impossible. The Russian government has declared more than once that Ukraine’s signing of the Association Agreement with the EU will aggravate its economic relations with Russia.

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