MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti) – The decision of the Kiev authorities not to enact the Association Agreement with the EU immediately is similar to the proposal made by Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych 10 months ago, at the time when it was possible to avoid the bloodshed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.
"The decision of the European Union and Ukraine postpone the enactment of the Association Agreement till the end of 2015 … is by and large the same thing that Viktor Yanukovych was asking for," Lavrov said in an interview to Russia’s Channel 5.
"He [Yanukovych] said ‘I want to postpone the signing, give [me] more time to think’. [Kiev authorities] Making the same decision in ten months, but by paying a high price … will not be considered a good deed,” the Russian foreign minister said.
The Ukraine–EU Association Agreement is a treaty that presupposes political and economic association between the parties.
The political provisions of the treaty were signed back in March, after a series of events that culminated in the ousting of the then incumbent President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who wanted to delay signing the agreement. The coup d'etat resulted in internal crisis in Ukraine that claimed the lives of hundreds people.
The new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the economic part of the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement in June.
In September, Ukraine and the EU parliaments ratified the economic and political parts of the Association Agreement but postponed the implementation of the treaty to December 31, 2015. Ukraine will have the benefit of sending exports to Europe under a preferential trade code, but duty-free trade will not come into effect until 2016, protecting both Kiev and Moscow from economic risk.