Monday, April 21, 2014   

EU sees Russia's Ukraine deal as band aid
(12-18 19:32)

European Union chair Lithuania warned that Ukraine had only delayed a looming crisis by signing an economic bailout deal with its former master Russia.
The agreement, under which Moscow agreed to buy US$15 billion of Ukrainian debt and slash its gas bill by a third, is only a “temporary solution,’’ the Baltic state's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told AFP.
“If money is given to plug a hole, it only postpones the crisis... Unless the country moves towards modernisation, whatever it chooses will lead to crisis in the end,'' he said.
Linkevicius warned the agreement “will hardly appease'' pro-EU protesters occupying Independence Square in Kiev.
Lithuania, which holds the EU's rotating presidency until January, had set out to use its half-year stint to bolster the bloc's ties with former Soviet states, only to see its Ukraine efforts stymied.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a landmark Association Agreement with the EU at a summit in Lithuania's capital Vilnius last month amid pressure from Russia.—AFP
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