Ukraine Says 'No' to EU Association AgreementBulgaria in EU | November 21, 2013, Thursday // 17:08| views
Ukraine PM Mykola Azarov. Photo by the Ukrainian Government, www.kmu.gov.ua
Ukraine's government has adopted a decision to stop the country's preparation for signing an Association Agreement with the European Union.
The decision whether to continue work for the Association Agreement was highly anticipated, as Ukraine had to decide between forging closer ties with the EU and joining the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia customs union.
The EU Association Agreement could have been signed before the end of November.
According to a statement published at the website of the Ukrainian goverment, the decision to halt the process has been taken "in the interest of Ukraine's national security."
"The decision has been taken in order to study and develop in more detail the complex of measures that Ukraine must fulfil in order to restore lost volumes of productions and the direction of trade and economic relations with the Russian Federation and the other member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States," says the statement.
Ukraine has also proposed the creation of a trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine commission to better discuss mutual relations of interest to the three parties.
At the same time, Ukrainian PM Mykola Azarov has issued a statement saying he hopes that within 2014 his country will be able "to remove all barriers to trade with CIS countries."
Azarov has stressed that Ukraine's 2014 rotational presidency of CIS will give the country a good opportunity to realize this plan.
He also described the recent CIS summit in St. Petersburg as "exceptionally productive."
Germany's Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle has reacted, saying the move is within Ukraine's power for sovereign decision.
Westerwelle stated that the EU hopes that Ukraine will chose a development consistent with European values, and that the door for further cooperation with the EU remains open.
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