The pro-Moscow Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych, abruptly pulled out of the special EU-Ukraine pact. The Kremlin threatened the country with trade losses worth billions and costing hundreds of thousands of jobs if it signed a strategic pact with the EU.
“Ukraine could not withstand the economic pressure and blackmail. It was threatened with restricted imports of its goods to Russia, particularly from companies in Eastern Ukraine, which accommodates the greater share of its industry and employee hundreds o thousand of people. Calculations would suggest this would lead to billions in losses. These were specified by President Yanukovych in a telephone conversation with the president (Lithuania’s president Dalia Grybauskite who also holds the rotating presidency of the EU) earlier this week,” explained Jovita Neliupsiene, advisor to Grybauskaite.
With the Ukrainian economy in critical condition, rejection of the EU could cost Ukraine a critical amount in terms of EU support and possible loans from the IMF.
In a rare joint reaction from the EU leadership, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso sharply condemned Russia for putting pressure on Ukraine to drop plans to sign a trade and co-operation agreement with the EU. They said: “It is up to Ukraine to freely decide what kind of engagement they seek with the EU. We therefore strongly disapprove of the Russian position and actions.”
(Edasi loe 29. nov. EE paberlehest)
Russian harassment of Ukraine has deep roots