RUSSIA’S ACTIONS IN RELATION TO EASTERN PARTNERSHIP COUNTRIES BREACH INTERNATIONAL PRINCIPLES – FULE

12.09.13


BULLETIN RELEASED: 12/09/13 8:22AM GMT :

UKRAINE-EU-RUSSIA-PRESSURE-OPINION

Brussels, September 12 (Interfax-Ukraine) – European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule has said that Russia’s actions in relation to the Eastern Partnership countries violate international principles.

While speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday as part of the consideration of the issue of the pressure exercised by Russia on the Eastern Partnership countries in the context of the upcoming summit in Vilnius, he said: “Such actions clearly breach the principles to which all European states have subscribed. In the Helsinki Principles of the OSCE we have committed to respect each country’s ‘right freely to define and conduct as it wishes its relations with other States in accordance with international law.’ The European Union will support and stand by those who are subject to undue pressures.”

In addition, Fule said that the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit “promises to mark a momentous step forward in our political association and economic integration with several of our eastern European neighbors.”

“Clearly – and wrongly – this is seen in some quarters as a threat. As a result, we have seen enormous pressure being brought to bear upon some of our partners,” he said.

In this regard, Fule recalled that the European Union had always been perfectly clear about its policy towards its Eastern neighbors.

“Our common interests dictate that we should work with our eastern neighbors to build a zone of prosperity and stability in our continent,” he said.

 

Fule also spoke about the development of the issue of a deep and comprehensive free trade area. Thus, already the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreements, signed in 1994, foresaw the development of a free trade area, whereas feasibility studies launched in 2004 led to the development of so called “deep and comprehensive free trade areas” (DCFTAs) as an integral part of the “new enhanced agreements” – subsequently known as Association Agreements (AA) – proposed in 2006. The first DCFTA negotiations started with Ukraine in 2008, as soon as it had become a World Trade Organization (WTO) member.



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