Ukraine needs a European perspective
The Eastern Partnership summit concluding today in Vilnius will not lead to the signing of an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, as had been originally expected. Commenting on this, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stated:
"The responsibility for the failure to sign an EU-Ukraine agreement lies solely with Ukrainian president Yanukovych. His actions risk undermining the economic and democratic development of his country. The EU cannot leave the country hanging: negotiations on the Association Agreement and a solution for Yulia Tymoshenko must continue. Those who are on the streets in Kiev demonstrating in support of democracy need and deserve a European perspective.
"The EU must do everything possible to support this new pro-European movement, which is being driven by young Ukrainians. On the ground, these students have concrete and straightforward demands, notably visa liberalisation and a comprehensive Erasmus programme for the country. The EU must deliver this. It must also finally speak out with a strong and united voice, including against the interference of Putin."
Green foreign policy spokesperson Werner Schulz added:
"Confidence in Ukrainian president Yanukovych is lost. The Ukrainian people themselves should decide about their country's European future: either through a referendum or at the next presidential election in 2015.
"The EU cannot work with pressure and threats, as Russia does, but the EU also cannot accept Russia's hegemonial policies. Only through a unified approach from all EU member states will the EU be able to face down Putin. The EU-Russia summit in January could be the first real opportunity to do so."