EU should sign Association Agreement with Ukraine as soon as possible
05 Mar 2014
Justice & Home Affairs
Andrey Kovatchev MEP, Head of the Bulgarian Delegation of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, lead negotiations on behalf of the EPP Group (Shadow Rapporteur) on the Report on assessing and setting priorities for EU relations with the Eastern Partnership.
"The political groups reached a consensus that the European Union should firmly support the democratic pro-European processes in the countries of the Eastern Partnership. The Eastern Partnership is equally committed to both the countries and its citizens. We therefore need to send them, but also NGOs and businesses, clear signals of our readiness for deeper cooperation", Kovatchev said.
Kovatchev, who is Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, considers that the Eastern Partnership has become a battlefield between the EU and Russia over the last year, and particularly in the last few months.
"Every breach of international law and the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 guaranteeing the territorial entirety of Ukraine should be firmly condemned. I hope that the crisis in Ukraine will be resolved by diplomatic means and not by sabre-rattling and the use of force that we have been witnessing so far", he added.
Andrey Kovatchev made clear that more flexibility is needed towards the countries that, despite their will to do so, cannot sign the Association Agreement with the EU because of Russian pressure.
"The EU should sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine as soon as possible and propose new forms of cooperation with Armenia which was forced to give up on its efforts for Association Agreement with the EU because of the enormous economic and political pressure from the Kremlin."
The Report on the Eastern Partnership will be voted in plenary at the next plenary session in Strasbourg in March.
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.
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