The European Union has agreed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call for three-way talks with Russia, Ukraine, and the EU. Last week, Putin sent letters to 18 EU nations, suggesting that unbalanced trade with the EU has all but destroyed the Ukrainian economy.
“Instead of consultations, we hear appeals to lower contractual prices on Russian natural gas – prices which are allegedly of a ‘political’ nature. One gets the impression that the European partners want to unilaterally blame Russia for the consequences of Ukraine’s economic crisis,” Putin’s letter said.
President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso issued a response to Putin today, which agreed for Putin’s need for consultation on the security of Europe’s gas supply and transit. However, Barroso disagreed with Putin’s assertion that Ukraine’s problems are the EU’s fault.
“We do not share your assessment of trade relations between Ukraine and the European Union that, to a large extent, the crisis in Ukraine ‘s economy has been precipitated by the unbalanced trade with the European Union Member States. In this regard an IMF-led programme of assistance will be vital in stabilising Ukraine’s economy,” Barroso replied.
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