EU-Russia relations Ukraine crisis overshadows summit
Commenting on today's EU-Russia summit, Green foreign policy spokesperson Werner Schulz said:
"Today's summit is totally overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine and the role of Russian president Putin in the crisis. The Winter Games in Sochi will also be taking place in the shadow of the Ukrainian crisis. Through political pressure and financial blackmail Putin derailed the association agreement with the EU, triggering the mass protests in Maidan Square. He has also provided the blueprints for the undemocratic laws passed to silence the opposition. This is no basis for a constructive relationship with the EU.
This is no basis for a constructive relationship with the EU. After five years of deadlock in the negotiations and blockage by Russia, the intended partnership agreement with Russia remains a distant prospect and it is hard to see any concrete progress up to the June summit."
Green MEP Tarja Cronberg, member of the EU-Russia cooperation committee added:
"It seems that Moscow sees the developments in its neighbourhood as a zero-sum game. However, Ukraine's integration with Europe is in Russia's interest. The EU has strong trade relations with both Ukraine and Russia and it also has a visa dialogue with the two countries. These tracks are not mutually exclusive and the progress of both tracks would multiply the benefits for Russia."