News / Europe

EU May Delay Ukraine Trade Deal

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L-R), Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Romania's President Traian Basescu and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attend a European leaders emergency summit on Ukraine, March 6, 2013.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L-R), Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Romania's President Traian Basescu and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attend a European leaders emergency summit on Ukraine, March 6, 2013.
A trade deal with the European Union that triggered the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych after he declined to sign it in favor of closer ties with Russia may be delayed until after May elections.

Ukraine’s new economy minister, Pavlo Sheremeta, acknowledged at a new conference in Kyiv that a free-trade pact with the European Union might be delayed for several months.
 
The so-called "association agreement" with the European Union was at the heart of the protests against ousted President Viktor Yanukovych - the protests erupted after he refused to sign the deal in November, apparently caving in to Russian demands.
 
“One of the most obvious issues is the date of the signing of this agreement," Sheremeta said.  "We have to understand that it is a two-way street.  We understand that there is some position expressed by some people in Europe that it might be more appropriate for the newly elected Ukrainian president to sign the association.”
 
Three days ago EU officials said they were ready to sign the association agreement with Ukraine whenever the country’s new leaders wanted to do so.  The delay is causing dismay among Ukrainian parliament members who were at the forefront of the protests against Yanukovych in Independence Square.

They fear any hold-up may have more to do with the diplomatic efforts under way to try to find a resolution to the standoff in Crimea, where Russian forces continue to consolidate their military forces, according to independent observers.

Ukrainian lawmaker and rights activist Lesya Orobets believes any delay risks undermining popular support for the association agreement and will prompt rumors of a lack of resolve on the part of the European Union to stand firm against Russia in the confrontation over Crimea.
 
“It would be definitely harmful first of all for social support for European integration. This would be hard to explain to people," Orobets said." Moreover there would be rumors which we will not be able to contradict that ‘Europe betrayed you.”
 
According to Sheremeta, who says his priority has been to ensure liquidity in the country’s banks and to negotiate loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, delaying the signing of the pact will cause no harm.
 
“It is a delay of three months.  I do not see such an urgency," he said.  "Everybody understands that we have expressed our desire to sign it, our readiness to sign it, and I think that is probably enough at the moment.”
 
Pro-European activists who remain camped out in Kyiv’s Independence Square were already unhappy when they heard British Prime Minister David Cameron would not exclude Russia from London’s financial markets and they now question the need for a trade deal delay.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More