Marietje Schaake, MEP, (ALDE/D66), has asked European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht for clarity on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The European Parliament ratified the agreement today, but last weekend it became clear that the European Commission and the Ukrainian government agreed to postpone the implementation of the trade parts of the agreement until 2016.
Schaake remarked: “It could be that the Commission wants to create room for a political solution and the ceasefire, but it also seems like they gave in to Russian pressure. It is important that it becomes clear what happened and especially why it was to chosen to postpone the deal. De Gucht must guarantee that the treaty will not be changed between now and 2016 as a result of pressure from the Kremlin.”
Schaake wants the European Union to show more leadership to move from the fragile ceasefire to a sustainable peace. Yesterday, there were renewed clashes around Donetsk. Schaake: “A sustainable truce must guarantee that all Russians withdraw from Ukrainian territory and that Russian interference in Ukraine ceases. It is to be expected that Ukraine will offer the Eastern regions something in the form of more autonomy. The European Union should lead these negotiations.” The Ukrainian president Poroshenko came with a proposal yesterday to offer the rebels three years of autonomy.
Over the last days there was also heavy fighting around the area where MH17 was shot down. That has made it almost impossible to investigate in the area. Schaake: “A sustainable solution must also guarantee unconditional access to the crash site and must accelerate an international investigation into the perpetrators.” Earlier, Schaake called for a Parliamentary Commission to research the disaster and to make sure it remains high on the agenda. “It is unacceptable that all the questions around MH17 remain unanswered, we must keep up the pressure and make sure that those responsible are held to account.”