- Title: UKRAINE: Ukrainian Prime Minister Azarov says EU decision is 'tactical'
- Date: 22nd November 2013
- Summary: KIEV, UKRAINE (NOVEMBER 22, 2013) (REUTERS) UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT, OR RADA, IN SESSION, OPPOSITION DEPUTIES SHOUTING, 'SHAME!' (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER, MYKOLA AZAROV, SAYING "This decision was dictated solely by economic reasons and is tactical, and not changing at all Ukraine's strategic development course fixed in law on the basis of internal and external policy. The government was working consistently on a strategic task to bring Ukraine nearer to European living standards." DEPUTIES MILLING IN PARLIAMENT CHAMBER
- Embargoed: 7th December 2013 12:00
- Location: Ukraine
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: International Relations,European Union,Economy,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA8O2UEIB3SZLZUEY0C7QXIY389
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Ukraine's Prime Minister tells parliament his country's decision to scrap plans to sign an association agreement with the European Union was "tactical" and motivated by economics.
Ukraine's decision not to sign a deal strengthening ties with the European Union was motivated solely by economics and was "tactical", Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Friday (November 22).
Azarov told the parliament, or Rada, that Thursday's (November 21) move, coupled with renewing active dialogue with Russia, did not alter Ukraine's overall development strategy.
The former Soviet republic abruptly spurned an historic new alliance with its western neighbours on Thursday, suspending an imminent trade pact with the European Union and saying it would revive talks on a deal instead with Russia, its old Soviet master.
The decision came under fire from European leaders, the United States and Ukraine's opposition.
Opposition leaders say the decision could be grounds for impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovich.
But today Azarov said the move was the only possible option.
"This decision was dictated solely by economic reasons and is tactical, and not changing at all Ukraine's strategic development course fixed in law on the basis of internal and external policy. The government was working consistently on a strategic task to bring Ukraine nearer to European living standards," Azarov said to Rada deputies, some of whom shouted "shame".
He said that the government would focus its efforts on renewing trade relations with Russia, Ukraine's top trading partner and main supplier of gas.
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