EU not ready to accept Ukraine: France's FM
Iran Press TV
Sun Jun 8, 2014 9:8PM
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said that the European Union (EU) is not ready to accept Ukraine as a member.
Fabius told France's news channel I-Tele on Sunday that Kiev should maintain good relations with Russia and the EU at the same time.
'We believe that Ukraine has a place in Europe, but it has to maintain good ties both with EU and Russia,' Fabius said.
On June 7, Ukraine's President Petro Proshenko expressed his commitment to restore ties with Russia, and said that he would sign the economic portion of a wider integration deal with the EU as a first step towards full membership.
French President Francois Hollande has also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin's brief meeting with Poroshenko in Normandy, France, where he attended the commemoration events for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by the Allied forces in the World War II on June 6.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in a statement on the same day that the two leaders demanded an immediate end to bloodshed in Ukraine's southeastern regions.
Hollande said the meeting might be a sign of de-escalation of the tensions between the two neighbors.
Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Ukraine's Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March, in which 96.8 percent of the participants voted for union with Russia.
The move sparked angry reactions from the United States and the European Union, both imposing punitive measures against a number of Russian officials and authorities in Crimea.
Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking parts in the east have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in the region in mid-April.
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