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Published: 21 august 2013 17:02

Lithuanian foreign calls Russia's actions against Ukraine alarming

Linas Linkevičius
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Linas Linkevičius

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius has expressed great concern over Russia's restrictions on imports of goods from Ukraine which, despite Moscow's objections, wants to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

Having arrived for a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels, the Lithuanian minister said the EU should "defend our Ukrainian partners."

"It's very alarming because every country has a right to choose the way to go, the path. If these measures, restrictions on the border are taken just as revenge or the countermeasure reacting to the possible signing of agreement with Ukraine - which was said by some officials, so it's not denied - it's really not acceptable," Linkevičius told journalists.

"It's not profitable not just for Ukraine but for Russia itself, but nevertheless it's the policy. And we believe we should stand united in this respect and defend our Ukrainian partners," the Lithuanian minister told the media in Brussels.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's adviser Sergey Glazyev has warned recently that Russia plans to tighten customs checks on the Ukrainian border, if Kiev makes, in his words, the "suicidal" step of signing the association agreement with the EU.

Last week, Russia introduced new long-lasting border checks for all cargoes from Ukraine as Putin steps up pressure against Kiev for it to join the Moscow-led regional trade block – the Customs Union.

Ukraine has so far refused to do so as it hopes to sign a free trade and political association agreement with the EU in November.

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