European Parliament warns Moscow against pressurizing Ukraine because of 'association'

The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament has described as unacceptable the trade pressure from Russia on Ukraine in order to deter Kyiv from signing an association agreement with the EU, reads a statement posted on the group's official website on Tuesday.

"The Russian authorities' recent actions against Ukraine, particularly against Ukrainian imports into Russia, are utterly unacceptable. It is obvious that Russia wants to deter Ukraine from strengthening its relationship with the European Union," President of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament Hannes Swoboda said.

The MEP from Austria said that Ukraine, as a sovereign country, has every right to determine its foreign policy independently.

"Ukraine must have the right - without any external pressure - to enhance its relationship with the EU. And the European Union must support Ukraine's ambition for closer ties with the EU," Swoboda said.

He also called on his colleagues from the European People's Party (EPP) to support the establishment of stronger ties between Ukraine and the European Union, through the signing of the Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius this November. In his opinion, this will strengthen Kyiv's positions in relation to periodic pressure from Moscow.

"I particularly want to appeal to the EPP to give their full support to the summit between the EU, Ukraine and other neighborhood countries in Vilnius this autumn, to ensure it is successful. We need full support for a quick ratification of the association agreement with Ukraine in order to strengthen Ukraine's position in relation to Russia," Swoboda said.

Adapted from ukrinform