SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament
Landmark EU-Ukraine agreements: a boost to economy and democracy
Gianni Pittella, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:
"The S&D Group welcomes the landmark ratification as a clear sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and of support for its desire for a democratic and prosperous future, within a democratic country.
"We welcome the ongoing consultations between the EU, Ukraine and Russia on the effects of the DCFTA - although they have started very late. Ukraine needs good relations with its neighbours to the east as well as to the west."
S&D MEP and vice-president for foreign affairs, Knut Fleckenstein said:
"This agreement is what the Ukrainian citizens fought for on the Maidan last winter. This association agreement opens up new possibilities for co-operation between the EU and Ukraine, and allows the EU to support Ukraine with its ambitious political and economic reform efforts.
"Last Friday's decision to postpone the provisional implementation of the association and trade agreements must not be understood as a victory for Russia. This is a concession for the sake of peace in Ukraine: a decision taken in the framework of a comprehensive peace process. We expect Russia to use all its influence to convince the rebels to respect the ceasefire and engage in meaningful negotiations for a political solution in Ukraine. This is the only way forward.
"Ukraine is in dire need of economic modernisation. The EU stands ready to support the country on this path, now and once the DCFTA has been implemented."