Industryweek 6948 Ukraine Seals Eu Trade Deal

Ukraine Seals EU Trade Deal as Russia Vows Retaliation

June 27, 2014
Ukraine's new leader seals a landmark EU pact that draws immediate threats of retaliation by Russia in its high-stakes standoff over the ex-Soviet country's future with the West.

BRUSSELS -- Ukraine's new leader on Friday sealed a landmark EU pact that drew immediate threats of retaliation by Russia in its high-stakes standoff over the ex-Soviet country's future with the West.

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko hailed the Association Agreement -- a 1,200-page document defining the political and trade terms under which Kiev will slip from the Kremlin's embrace -- as a turning point for a country that straddles a geopolitical fault line between Europe and Russia.

The deal also bursts Russian President Vladimir Putin's dream of enlisting Kiev in a Moscow-led alliance that could rival the European Union and NATO. The Kremlin immediately vowed to take "all the necessary measures" against Ukraine.

Yet the pact is just as unpopular in Russified eastern regions that mistrust the new Kiev leaders and are now witnessing a bloody separatist insurgency being waged on the streets of a dozen industrial cities and towns.

"I am ready to make peace with anybody," Poroshenko said. "I hate the idea of not [using] the last opportunity to bring peace to the region."

By Bryan McManus with Dmitry Zaks in Kievand Maria Antonova in Moscow

Copyright Agence France-Presse 2014

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