European Parliament urges EU "to stand up to Russia"
The Council of Europe’s committee of ministers also urged Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine and to refrain from any interference in the country

The European Parliament has urged the European Union on Thursday to stand up to Russia and step up support for EU farmers hit by its trade ban.

In a statement, the European Parliament, EP, expressed its fears of Russia’s real intentions in "the undeclared hybrid war," despite the signed cease-fire.

"This cease-fire could be just a pretext for Russian troops to regroup in order to continue their offensive," the statement reads.

It also said that the EU-Ukraine Association and free trade agreement, ratified simultaneously on Tuesday by the Ukrainian and European parliaments, "cannot and will not be changed," despite pressure exerted by Russia.

The agreement, which brings about a gradual strengthening of political and economic ties between the EU and Ukraine, was simultaneously approved by the Verkhovna Rada and the European Parliament.

The free-trade agreement, which is different from all other agreements with non-member countries with 15 chapters, 14 attachments and three protocols, is expected to make a significant contribution to the Ukrainian economy.

The European Parliament expressed its supports for the latest EU sanctions against Russia declaring Russian counter-sanctions as "unjustified.”

"We call on the EU to consider excluding Russia from civil nuclear cooperation and the SWIFT international payment system," reads the statement.

MEPs said that the budget for EU measures offsetting the impact on EU farmers of Russia’s trade ban should be increased and their coverage extended to more products.

The EP also condemned the abduction of an Estonian counterintelligence officer from Estonian territory and called on Russia to immediately release him.

The Council of Europe’s committee of ministers also urged Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine on Thursday and to refrain from any interference in the country.

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Last Modified: 2014-09-19 09:24:35
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