Crimean Crisis: EU leaders sign pact with Ukraine / Breaking News


It should be a sign of solidarity in the Crimean conflict: The EU heads of state and government have signed an agreement for closer links West Ukraine. The guide in Russia they threaten further sanctions.

The Heads of State and Government of the European Union (EU) have signed a partnership pact with Ukraine on Friday. This was a “concrete sign of solidarity,” said Council President Herman Van Rompuy. This is also a symbolic step to demonstrate support for the Ukrainian people and the new government, stressed the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.

Signed the political part of the Agreement. This reflects the Ukraine undertakes among other things, respect for human rights, free market economy and to close cooperation with Europe. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had come for the signing to Brussels. He was relieved: “This agreement meets the expectations of millions of Ukrainians who want to be part of the EU.” The associated cooperation in security and defense issues was “the highest existential” of meaning. (Follow the developments here in the live ticker).

Crimean Crisis:More travel bans and account lockouts

The economic part with far-reaching regulations on free trade should be sealed at a later date . The EU , Russia had pledged in February to address the creation of a free trade zone with Moscow. However, Brussels wants to renounce unilaterally in June to almost all customs duties for Ukrainian goods . This is to relieve the country , according to the EU Commission by almost 500 million per year. Former President Viktor Yanukovych had placed the partnership agreement in November on ice.

The Government had previously advised for hours into the night about the conflict in Ukraine. The EU imposed because of the annexation of the Crimea travel bans and account lockouts against other people . This decision of the EU summit German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced early Friday morning in Brussels .

Some were ” really high level ,” said Van Rompuy . Thus, the number of people affected increased to a total of 33 Until now, such sanctions against 21 people.

The additional names will be announced later in the day . The permanent EU ambassadors of the member countries have yet to take a formal decision .

Crimean Crisis:Federation sealed connection of the Crimea

Russia called the sanctions illegal, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this would build an artificial barrier to the west. The Federation Council in Moscow agreed on Friday morning in last instance the inclusion of Crimea in the Russian Federation . The upper house of the Russian parliament adopted the bill by 155 votes to closed. Thus the Black Sea peninsula is under Russian law now finally part of Russia.

President Vladimir Putin , and the Moscow-backed leadership of the Crimea had signed the document on Tuesday . The head of state announced his intention to once not respond to the sanctions imposed by the West with new punitive measures. ” For now, ” Russia should refrain from further countermeasures , Putin said. This applies not only to the U.S. sanctions , but also for the initiative announced by the Ukrainian government visa requirements for Russians. At the same time he announced his intention to open an account with the sanctioned by the U.S. Bank Rossiya .

The inhabitants of the Crimea had on 16 March pronounced in an internationally unrecognized referendum overwhelmingly for connection to Russia. The Kiev government, the EU and the U.S. criticized the move as a violation of international law.
The EU leaders had also made it clear in the night that they already prepare parallel tougher measures against Moscow. “If there be a further destabilization in Ukraine, should be adopted more far-reaching measures,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron. Possible economic sanctions could meet a wide range of industries, according to Van Rompuy. “We have asked the Commission and the Member States to prepare for possible targeted measures.”

The Heads of State canceled the planned for June in Sochi Russia-EU summit. Individual states would emphasize bilateral summit, Van Rompuy said.

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