KIEV, December 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s foreign minister on Thursday harshly criticized the reaction of some countries in the European Union to Ukraine’s decision to suspend landmark deals with the bloc.
“This situation is connected with a hysteria that some Europeans have conjured over the fact that Ukraine, while utilizing its own sovereign rights, decided at this stage not to sign a certain agreement that Ukrainian experts and authorities deemed disadvantageous,” Sergei Lavrov told journalists.
Lavrov, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said it was up to Ukraine to decide whether to sign the respective association and free-trade deals with the EU.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Ukraine to demand the resignation of the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, and his cabinet of ministers for their failure to sign the deals and instead opt for strengthening economic ties with Moscow.
Ukrainian officials and the EU have accused Russia of pressuring Kiev not to sign the deals. Moscow has vehemently denied using trade embargoes and gas deliveries as a form of intimidation against Ukraine, saying it is only taking measures to protect its own economy.