First part of the agreement which started last phase of Ukrainian revolution and caused Crimean crisis was signed on Friday in Brussels between European Union and Provisional Government of Ukraine. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign two part agreement and decided to side with Moscow cost hundreds of Ukrainians lives, thousands others were either injured or displaced now since Russia took over Crimea. The EU and its Member States are committed to signed remainder of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area later. Sides will start political dialogue in April EU Council stated.
EU Council calls for reforms
EU Council concluded that restoration of Ukraine’s macroeconomics is an immediate priority. In their opinion the Ukrainian government
“needs to embark swiftly on an ambitious programme of structural reforms, including fight against corruption and enhancing transparency of all fiscal operations.”
Upon signing document with representatives of 28 member nations Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk said:
EU Council repeated once again their commitment to uphold Ukrainian sovereignty and its territorial integrity. Council also repeated their opinion that referendum which was held in Crimea just days ago is illegal and condemned once again annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Putin signed Crimea annexation into the law
At the same time when Yatsenyuk was signing deal with EU Council Russian President Vladimir V. Putin signed a law which officially makes Crimea part of the Russian Federation.
“We have a lot of work ahead to adapt Crimea to Russian legislation… I ask deputies of both chambers to do their best in the interests of all Russians and of Crimeans especially”, said Putin on ceremony in Moscow.
Harper in Kiev on Saturday
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be the first G7 Group leader to visit Kiev and to talk with Yatsenyuk and his colleagues since latest crisis started. Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine comes as the second wave of Canadian support to Provisional Government, first was sending Parliamentary delegation and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to visit. Third wave will concretize through financial help of $220m which will be transferred to Kiev through IMF.
Harper is expected to visit Independence Square better known as Maidan during his visit to Kiev. Following this visit to Kiev Harper will continue his European visit meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who serves as an intermediary with Russian leader Putin.
EU and Canada will continue preparations for G7 meeting as Russia is officially excluded from G7 + 1 or G8 Group and G7 leaders refusal to attend meeting in Sochi. In the conclusions of their meeting EU leaders said that next EU-Russia Summit and bilateral meeting between the Member States and Russia will be suspended for time being. This week also brought more sanctions to Russian officials by US, Canada and G7 partners plus EU in effort to punish Vladimir Putin regime for its actions in Crimea. Of course further effect of these actions will be seen in the future.