14:23 28.10.2013

Paris says Ukraine will sign agreement with EU at summit in Vilnius

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Paris says Ukraine will sign agreement with EU at summit in Vilnius

Paris believes that Ukraine will sign an association and free trade agreement with the European Union at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said.

"We're evaluating the situation optimistically, and we believe that the agreement will be signed," he said at a press conference at the Lithuanian parliament in Vilnius on Monday.

The agreement between Ukraine and the EU is to be signed at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28-29, but EU member states have demanded that former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko be released from prison by the time.

An EU envoy in Ukraine, Irish politician Pat Cox, said at a press conference on Monday that Ukraine is demonstrating progress, but said that it is necessary to seek Tymoshenko's release on humanitarian grounds.

When asked to evaluate the pressure from Russia, Fabius said: "If we are talking about economic blackmail, then, of course, France supports Lithuania."

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