Statement by Hannes Swoboda on Ukrainian dismissal of EU association agreement

Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych

After substantial negotiations on a comprehensive association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, foreseen to be signed next week, the Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych yesterday announced he would no longer pursue such an agreement.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, commented on this decision:

"It is obvious that we respect the Ukrainian government's decision. We cannot however respect the way Ukraine treated and abused the trust of the European Union.

"The decision of President Yanukovych risks further increasing internal splits. The hope of millions of Ukrainians will now not become a reality.

"The proposal of a tripartite agreement between the EU, Ukraine and Russia could be discussed, provided all interlocutors are reliable partners. So far, President Yanukovich has however not been a reliable partner."