FOREIGN AFFAIRS – UKRAINE – 10 December 2013
Dr Julian Lewis: Have the Government had any opportunity to make an assessment of what measures the Russians may have brought into play to pressurise the Ukrainian Government to change their approach to this important matter?
[The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr Hugo Swire): Not to date, but we – together with our EU partners – had hoped that the EU-Ukraine relationship would enter a new and fundamentally different phase following signature of the association agreement, which includes a deep and comprehensive free trade area, at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on 28 and 29 November. What we have made a study of is the benefit that the agreement would bring to Ukraine and Ukrainian companies. It would give Ukrainian companies access to a market of 500 million consumers. Reliable studies have shown that GDP and wages would rise, and closer economic integration through the deep and comprehensive free trade area would be a powerful stimulant to Ukraine’s economic growth.]