The European Parliament today voted to endorse the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The Greens/EFA group welcomed the ratification of the Association Agreement but expressed concern with a new plan to delay the implementation of part of EU's free trade agreement with Ukraine. After the vote, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:
"We have worked together with the Ukrainians for over ten years for this association agreement. Its purpose is to seal the close ties between the EU and its neighbour Ukraine and this was symbolised by the concurrent vote in favour of ratification with the Rada in Kiev. This is also a signal of Europe's responsibility for Ukraine's future and to all those Ukrainians who have been pushing for freedom and democracy in their country over the past months and have even lost their lives to this end.
"However, the compromise on free trade is a political disgrace. This compromise would only be of value if it serves to deliver real peace, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Ukrainian people's right to self-determination. It is therefore totally wrong that no conditions were included to address the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which is being supported by Russia.
"After ratification, the EU must not sit back. We must support Ukraine's economic and political reforms and the fight against corruption, not only financially, but also with advice. We must do everything possible to thwart the destabilisation strategy, which the Russian leadership is using to undermine the European aspirations of Ukraine. This includes support to guarantee the security of energy supply in Ukraine and in the EU this winter."