November 19, 2013 / 9:21 AM / in 4 years

Russia's Lavrov criticises EU pressure on Ukraine

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MOSCOW, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the European Union on Tuesday of putting "unforgivable pressure" on Ukraine to join a trade pact with the EU.

If Ukraine meets the EU's conditions, signing the trade pact this month would mark a historic shift away from Russia and towards western Europe.

"We are not putting anyone under pressure ... this is a sovereign choice for any state," Lavrov told a news conference.

"If you compare our, in my opinion, honourable and collegial position with that of some representatives from the European Union, then arguably unforgivable pressure is being applied from that side on the focus (ex-Soviet) states." (Reporting by Steve Gutterman; Writing by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Douglas Busvine)

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