IN THE SPOTLIGHT
President Herman Van Rompuy: remarks on Ukraine, following the European Council – ‘The future of our relations is for the long-term’
Following the European Council this week, President Herman Van Rompuy outlined his remarks, reconfirming a message of ‘strong support’ to Ukraine. The citizens of Ukraine have shown again these last days how fully aware they are, of the historic nature of Europe's offer, which he said is ‘the most reliable road to a modern, open, independent Ukraine’.
‘And on behalf of the entire European Council, I can say that our offer, the offer of political association and closer trade ties, is still on the table. We are willing to sign, as soon as the country is ready’, he said, expressing regrets about the decision of Ukraine's government of late November not to sign the Association Agreement with EU.
‘But the future of our relations is for the long-term’, said President Herman Van Rompuy. ‘We can't let that be compromised by short-term calculations, by outside pressure. It must be a free choice’.
‘To my mind, the future of Ukraine lies with Europe. One can try to slow it down, to block it, but in the end no one can prevent it’, sating that EU made it abundantly clear that the ‘European Union's agreements with partner countries in the region are not at Russia's expense. On the contrary, it is also set to benefit from it’.