Russia continues aggressive rhetoric towards Ukraine EU pact

Tensions rise ahead of country’s impending European Union association agreement
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(PR NewsChannel) / November 13, 2013 / KIEV, Ukraine 

UkraineAs Ukraine moves closer to an impending signing of the Association Agreement and free-trade pact with the European Union, Russia has continued to ramp up threatening rhetoric towards its neighbor and trade partner.

The “Kyiv Post” reports recent comments by high-ranking Russian officials have led to a Russian-Ukrainian war of words ahead of the November 29 signing.

Sergei Glazyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official adviser on economic integration, has said Ukraine’s signing of the EU association agreement would be “economic suicide,” a “surrender of sovereignty” and a “violation of the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty on which the entire foundation of our relationship is built.”

Insisting that former Soviet states, including Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia join a Moscow-sponsored customs union with Russia rather than the European Union, Russia continues to exert extreme pressure on each country in the form of ominous threats and economic restrictions.

Russia appears poised to take advantage of Ukraine’s dependency on Russian influences, as some reports suggest, and is preparing a series of “reactive” measures concerning both exports and imports directly linked with Ukraine.

With large segments of the Ukrainian economy reliant on Russia, the current economic situation leaves Ukraine especially vulnerable to Kremlin pressure. Should Russia exert undue pressure against the country, the Ukrainian economy would be forced into a free fall that would inevitably send tensions soaring within the region.

This past August, Russia imposed restrictions on Ukrainian goods crossing the border in an act that was widely viewed as retaliation for the country refusing its own Customs Union. Since then, Russian officials have also warned that Ukraine could be subjected to unspecified, yet ominous, “defensive measures” should the country move closer to the EU.

World leaders have since called for Russia to abandon its aggressive stance against Ukraine. Members of the U.S. Congress publicly admonished the tactics while appealing for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “comment and condemnation.”

In September, the European Parliament, which represents more than 500 million EU citizens, reiterated that “now more than ever, attention needs to be drawn to the alarming pressures in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood and on the Eastern Partnership project itself, which is being contested and questioned by Russia.”

Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych is committed to European integration, and said his nation views its European aspirations as the “defining vector of our development.”

Ukraine is expected to sign the EU accord at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius on November 29.

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SOURCE:  Religious Association For Equality For All

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