Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Russia Denies Blackmailing Ukraine Over EU Deal

Russia has never threatened Ukraine with sanctions over a cooperation agreement with the European Union, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. But Moscow did warn Kiev in advance that Ukraine could lose its favorable status in trade relations with Russia, Lavrov said. “We have not blackmailed anyone,” the minister told Rossiya 24 television after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels. “We are not talking about sanctions, we are simply saying that we would return to normal trade relations with Ukraine or any other country that would choose this way [association with EU].” Lavrov said that the sides agreed that Ukraine’s sovereignty should be respected and that people should have a free choice as to how they want their state to develop.


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