EU, Russia to swap recriminations over Ukraine

BRUSSELS Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38am EST

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attend a news conference after the European Union-Russian Federation (EU-Russia) Summit in Yekaterinburg June 4, 2013. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attend a news conference after the European Union-Russian Federation (EU-Russia) Summit in Yekaterinburg June 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union and Russian leaders will trade recriminations over Ukraine at a summit on Tuesday, as the former Soviet republic reels from violent unrest after spurning the EU's embrace and lurching back towards Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Brussels for talks with EU leaders at a time when relations are strained over Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich's decision in November to turn his back on a trade and political agreement with the EU in favour of closer trade ties with Russia.

That decision, rewarded with a $15 billion bailout from Russia, sparked weeks of pro-EU demonstrations in Kiev which three protesters have been killed.

Police clashed with protesters in the Ukrainian capital again on Sunday and the opposition said it would keep pushing for early elections, despite being offered the prime minister's post by Yanukovich.

The 28-nation EU, which accuses Russia of putting trade pressure on Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states tempted by closer ties with Brussels, showed its anger by cancelling the dinner that traditionally precedes its twice-yearly summits with Russia.

It has opted instead for an intensive two-and-a-half-hour session of talks, restricted to top officials, to permit an in-depth discussion about Ukraine and other divisive issues.

Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will represent Russia while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Asthon will speak for the EU.

Russia, which regards Ukraine as part of its sphere of influence, has told European governments to stop meddling in the Ukrainian crisis and has criticised politicians such as Ashton for visiting protest sites in Kiev.

Russia and the EU have had "a number of differences which need to be discussed and clarified" at the summit, Van Rompuy said in a statement.

The EU's strategy of forging closer ties with ex-Soviet states was left in tatters when Armenia opted last September to join a customs union led by Moscow. Ukraine was next to jilt the EU, after Moscow tightened checks on its imports and threatened to cut off its gas supplies.

Van Rompuy and Barroso will stress to Putin that "there shouldn't be any interference or threats" and that Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states should be free to take their own decisions, one EU source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

CIVIL WAR

A German member of the European Parliament, Knut Fleckenstein, urged the EU and Russia to work together to foster a dialogue in Ukraine.

"If they do not want Ukraine to slide into a kind of civil war, they must work for a dialogue between the Ukrainian government and the opposition. Russia and the EU can solve this issue together, but not alone," Fleckenstein, a leader of a joint committee with Russian legislators, told Reuters.

But the EU source said that, while both sides were likely to call for an end to violence in Ukraine, no joint statement would be issued after the meeting.

The EU has launched its own mediation effort in Ukraine, sending enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele for talks last week and Ashton later this week.

"This is not going to be a summit about Ukraine ... (But) of course the dramatic developments there are undoubtedly a source of serious concern for both Russia and the EU," Russia's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said last week.

Russia is the EU's third-biggest trading partner after the United States and China, and two-way trade totalled more than 330 billion euros ($452 billion) in 2012. But the two sides are locked in quarrels over trade and energy which could be raised in Tuesday's talks.

The EU has launched a World Trade Organization dispute with Russia over allegations it illegally protects its carmakers, and has opened an anti-trust probe of Russian energy giant Gazprom. The Syrian conflict and negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme will also be raised at the summit.

(Additional reporting by Tom Koerkemeier; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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Comments (2)
StanleyFox wrote:
Sweet Euroillusions of Ukraine? Lets dissipate them one-by-one… Sanctions against Ukrainian officials? not yet? They should have been in place months ago. In a short while there will be no such need at all. The bandits will establish Donbass-style all across EU and elsewhere. You’ll not even have time to pronounce: Too late… There seems to be no end to the Western misunderstanding of the situation in Ukraine.
It only seems: 2 hands, 2 legs, 1 head – so iis it a human being. Not quite. Such creature is from Donbass, it started killing businessmen and other competitors since 90-ies and never stopped ever since. There was silence for decades in Donbass due to the same procurator who is the procurator of Ukraine now. The number of victims? no one knows for sure, people put it simply – layers! Fuhrer may relax.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDngmBDV4vA Even fellow-criminals despise the UA gremlin.
Swarms of my Ukie pals keep telling me their first-hand experience, a very sad one. They are suppressed from everywhere, even PayPal prohibits receiving payments by Ukrainian citizens from abroad, and they cannot afford to nourish Western Union with their kopecks. Then what Euro integration are we talking about? What support?
Tell the gang: Stop killing. But there’s no logic – that’s the best and only thing they can do. Other than rob. They’ve been doing it for such a long time, so why should they stop now? Because of journalist? they will shoot them first. Lots of people are disappearing every day including Herr Bulatov, the Chief of Automaidan team, whose cars are totally demolished. In the country with no Siberia, no volcanoes. Very few bodies have been found. Where are the rest? Some departments of FSB (Russian secret service) sit in full force in Ukraine now, in Kharkiv the “Oplot” is an example. Russian death squadron is operating in Ukraine after Chechnya training their raw rookies on the unarmed protesters. The Gremlin from the Kremlin is striving for war, the UA gremlin is his mere puppet.
Free elections in Ukraine? With bandits counting the votes? The usual EU excuse for keeping on putting things off? Waiting for 2015? Bandits keep laughing at the EU naivety, to put it mild( People in UA know the Donbass election style pretty well. The Donbass election “carousel” usually looks like this: several busses with miners arrive to the Wahlsprengel=polling station in a village or a town which is controlled by the bandits. Miners (the survived ones) are very simple people, they are doing what they are told, otherwise vanish. All looks 101% legitimate, passports and people create a merry-go-round and go on voting endlessly, generating infinite score. Since everybody is in the game, you may change a letter in the Patronimic or invent anything else, anyway the people, passports and the whole picture looks real. Or surreal(isitic)? Install a webcam and show it to the world. The resulting figures may exceed the population of China+India, does not matter, just delete the extra. Get, say, “true-looking” 97%. And of course include the dead ones (when it comes to voting, people never die in Ukraine), the ill, those who did not show up. As a humanistic aspect, the need to intimidate the voters is actually not so big (albeit not neglected). For comparison, remember the documented facts: the frequent Putin’s voting in lots of polling stations in Russia was over 100%, with one setting a record of 147% (corrected afterwards of course, but actually registered on the spots). You will remind me – and what about observers? Even international? In a small town, even not fully controlled by the bandits, an observer needs an army to him\herself in order to survive. Many take bribes or are otherwise corrupted. Internationals seldom visit villages which are quite numerous. Even if they do, they note some violations which they call “minor” afterwards and during which the major “throw-in” of the ballots takes place. There are 1001 ways to divert observer’s attention away from the ballot box. That’s how the bandits came to power (talking about their legitimacy). Today the pretesters carry the slogans across Ukraine: „All Hitler did, was 100% legitimate“

Jan 28, 2014 3:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
StanleyFox wrote:
Sweet Euroillusions of Ukraine? Lets dissipate them one-by-one… Sanctions against Ukrainian officials? not yet? They should have been in place months ago. In a short while there will be no such need at all. The bandits will establish Donbass-style all across EU and elsewhere. You’ll not even have time to pronounce: Too late… There seems to be no end to the Western misunderstanding of the situation in Ukraine.
It only seems: 2 hands, 2 legs, 1 head – so iis it a human being. Not quite. Such creature is from Donbass, it started killing businessmen and other competitors since 90-ies and never stopped ever since. There was silence for decades in Donbass due to the same procurator who is the procurator of Ukraine now. The number of victims? no one knows for sure, people put it simply – layers! Fuhrer may relax.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDngmBDV4vA Even fellow-criminals despise the UA gremlin.
Swarms of my Ukie pals keep telling me their first-hand experience, a very sad one. They are suppressed from everywhere, even PayPal prohibits receiving payments by Ukrainian citizens from abroad, and they cannot afford to nourish Western Union with their kopecks. Then what Euro integration are we talking about? What support?
Tell the gang: Stop killing. But there’s no logic – that’s the best and only thing they can do. Other than rob. They’ve been doing it for such a long time, so why should they stop now? Because of journalist? they will shoot them first. Lots of people are disappearing every day including Herr Bulatov, the Chief of Automaidan team, whose cars are totally demolished. In the country with no Siberia, no volcanoes. Very few bodies have been found. Where are the rest? Some departments of FSB (Russian secret service) sit in full force in Ukraine now, in Kharkiv the “Oplot” is an example. Russian death squadron is operating in Ukraine after Chechnya training their raw rookies on the unarmed protesters. The Gremlin from the Kremlin is striving for war, the UA gremlin is his mere puppet.
Free elections in Ukraine? With bandits counting the votes? The usual EU excuse for keeping on putting things off? Waiting for 2015? Bandits keep laughing at the EU naivety, to put it mild( People in UA know the Donbass election style pretty well. The Donbass election “carousel” usually looks like this: several busses with miners arrive to the Wahlsprengel=polling station in a village or a town which is controlled by the bandits. Miners (the survived ones) are very simple people, they are doing what they are told, otherwise vanish. All looks 101% legitimate, passports and people create a merry-go-round and go on voting endlessly, generating infinite score. Since everybody is in the game, you may change a letter in the Patronimic or invent anything else, anyway the people, passports and the whole picture looks real. Or surreal(isitic)? Install a webcam and show it to the world. The resulting figures may exceed the population of China+India, does not matter, just delete the extra. Get, say, “true-looking” 97%. And of course include the dead ones (when it comes to voting, people never die in Ukraine), the ill, those who did not show up. As a humanistic aspect, the need to intimidate the voters is actually not so big (albeit not neglected). For comparison, remember the documented facts: the frequent Putin’s voting in lots of polling stations in Russia was over 100%, with one setting a record of 147% (corrected afterwards of course, but actually registered on the spots). You will remind me – and what about observers? Even international? In a small town, even not fully controlled by the bandits, an observer needs an army to him\herself in order to survive. Many take bribes or are otherwise corrupted. Internationals seldom visit villages which are quite numerous. Even if they do, they note some violations which they call “minor” afterwards and during which the major “throw-in” of the ballots takes place. There are 1001 ways to divert observer’s attention away from the ballot box. That’s how the bandits came to power (talking about their legitimacy). Today the pretesters carry the slogans across Ukraine: „All Hitler did, was 100% legitimate“

Jan 28, 2014 3:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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