Auštrevičius: Russia’s gas blackmail is attempt to sabotage EU–Ukraine Association Agreement
“Russia’s gas war waged against Ukraine is an additional tool of pressure on the whole European Union, seeking, at the same time, to sabotage the final signing of the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement,” says Petras Auštrevičius, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and Member of the Liberal Movement Political Group, MP stated in a press release issued by this office.
The signing of association agreements between the EU and the Eastern Partnership trio – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – is expected on 27 June 2014. Ukraine has already signed the political provisions of its association agreement. What remains to be signed is only an economic agreement on free trade.
“We are witnessing Russia’s desperate efforts to knock Ukraine out of the trio of countries which are going to sign association agreements. Blackmail concerning gas supply to Ukraine and conscious disruption of negotiations are becoming elements of increasing pressure on the whole European Union. In other words, besides military actions, Russia has also switched to applying economic measures, and we are likely to see the culmination of these events in the coming weeks,” the Deputy Speaker says.
He believes the EU should continue making every effort to secure an active role in the mediation of negotiations on gas supply between Ukraine and Russia. “It is the only way to preserve a possibility of a civilised agreement,” Mr Auštrevičius says.
He says that NATO’s wider support to Ukraine would be particularly important.