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Ukrainian opposition leaders in Vilnius: Russia's pressure makes us choose EU integration

Vitalijus Klyčko
BFL/Vyginto Skaraičio nuotr. / Vitaliy Klitschko
Šaltinis: BNS
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Ukrainian opposition leaders, currently on a visit to Lithuania, say Ukraine needs faster EU integration amid Russia's economic and political pressures.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of Ukraine's second biggest party All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland", said after a meeting with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Monday that by putting pressure on Ukraine, Russia was breaching bilateral and multilateral agreements.

"We still feel that we are under the pressure of Russia over economic and even political issues. That's the reason why we need to be much closer to the European Union in order to act in concert with our European partners and to build a new type of relations between Ukraine as a part of the European Union and Russia as just Russia," Yatsenyuk told journalists.

Yatsenyuk and other Ukrainian opposition politicians Vitaliy Klitschko and Oleh Tyahnybok, who met with the Lithuanian president, said they supported the signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, planned in Vilnius in late November.

They also pointed to the EU and the Ukrainian opposition's joint call for the release of incarcerated former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshyenko for her to get treatment in Germany.

"The thing is whether the president of Ukraine is ready to show his political will and let her out to get this medical treatment," Yatsenyuk said.

The politician also thanked Lithuanian President Grybauskaitė for her "very strong signal" to the Ukrainian government at the summit in Yalta.

"She actually turned the tide. Yanukovych thought that the deal is in his pocket. No," Yatsenyuk said.

In September in Yalta, Grybauskaitė said that with two months left until the Vilnius Summit, Ukraine needed to solve the selective justice problem and the Tymoshenko issue, carry out necessary amendments in the legislative and judicial systems as well as in the areas of prosecution, improving business environment and fighting corruption.

Klitschko said the Ukrainian opposition representatives and the Lithuanian president had a very open conversation about reforms the EU wanted for the association agreement to be signed.

"We discussed a lot of issues, and there's hope in our task as opposition powers to do whatever we can for the association agreement to be signed in Vilnius and all of its provisions to be really implemented after the signing," he told journalists.

"We need to adopt all laws drafted for the signing of the agreement. Naturally, the release of Yulia Tymoshenko and giving her a possibility to get treatment is one of the key issues as well. There are several options," Klitschko said.

BNS
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