Barroso rules out possibility of EU-Ukraine-Russia tripartite negotiations
He rejected as unacceptable the tripartite negotiations and the interference of a third country in the bilateral agreement and said there could not be a tripartite format in the elaboration of the bilateral agreement between the EU and Ukraine. Barroso made the statement at a press conference after the Eastern Partnership Vilnius summit.
Barroso said they had respect for sovereignty; the agreement with a sovereign country, Ukraine, had been initialed and whenever a bilateral agreement was on the agenda both sides should agree that it was a bilateral affair.
He said they did not hold negotiations with a third country when they concluded an agreement with Canada, for example. There cannot be a tripartite format in the conclusion of EU agreements with another state, Barroso noted.
The strategic partnership with Russia did not mean that the EU would agree to any interference of a third country in its bilateral relations with another state; that is a matter of principle, the European Commission president said.
He also said they could not agree to a third country's veto as a condition for a bilateral agreement, as that would disagree with all principles of international law, Barroso said.
European leaders offered a package of financial aid to Ukraine at the summit of the EU’s 'Eastern Partnership' format, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said Friday at a news conference at the end of the third summit of the format.
"Talks were conducted until the very last moment and, what is more, concrete steps were made to set up a system of support for Ukraine," he said. "Even yesterday we still had the hopes that the dialogue would produce a result in the form of a package of aid."
He alleged that Ukraine had initially been interested in signing the agreement on association with the EU but it did not venture to do this in the final count.
The European Union will not alter the conditions for EU-Ukrainian talks on Association Agreement, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said at a press conference following the Eastern Partnership summit talks in Vilnius.
The European Union expects Ukraine to change its decision on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement by the time that the 2015 Eastern Partnership summit, which will be held in Riga, President of Lithuania, chairing the EU, Dalia Grybauskaite said.
The EU hopes that Ukraine will make a decision that will be useful for Ukraine itself, prior to the Riga summit, Grybauskaite said at the final news conference following the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on Friday.
The next Eastern Partnership summit is planned for the first half of 2015 in Riga, during the Latvian chairmanship of the Council of Europe.
The EU does not intend to change the conditions Kyiv had to comply with in order to sign the Association Agreement, Grybauskaite said.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Friday that Kiev still intended to sign an association and trade agreement with the EU in the future, but he wanted the bloc to take 'decisive steps' to draw up an economic aid package for Ukraine. He also reaffirmed the Ukrainian government’s intention to sign agreement on association with the EU over the short term.
Justifying his decision not to sign the agreement on Friday at an EU summit in Lithuania's capital, he told EU leaders in a closed summit session: "Unfortunately, Ukraine in the last while has turned out to be alone in dealing with serious financial and economic problems."
"So today we need from our European partners decisive steps to be taken towards Ukraine to work out, and realise, a programme of financial-economic aid," he said, in comments reported on his web site.
Viktor Yanukovych has reaffirmed the Ukrainian government’s intention to sign agreement on association with the EU over the short term.
He said it Friday at a plenary session of the summit of the EU's so-called 'Eastern Partnership' format.
"Ukraine and the EU have entered the final phase of making up the association and I feel confident this agreement will open up a new page in the development of the Ukrainian state and will raise our relations with the EU and its member-states to a quality new level," Yanukovych said.
"I reaffirm Ukraine’s intention to sign the agreement on association shortly," he said.
Ukraine and the European Union will find the next opportunity to sign their Association and Free Trade Area Agreement during a Ukraine-EU summit, set for March 2014, the Ukrainian president's advisor Andriy Honcharuk said.
"The Ukraine-EU summit, due to take place in early March 2014, will be their next opportunity to do so," Honcharuk said.
The official also said he was hopeful that the joint working group would be able to sort out all the differences over the timing of the event.
Voice of Russia, Interfax, RIA