EU warns Russia not to pressure eastern partners

AP News
Posted: Oct 21, 2013 7:22 AM
EU warns Russia not to pressure eastern partners

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The European Union's foreign ministers are warning Russia to stop pressuring East European nations that seek closer relations or special agreements with the EU.

The bloc's 28 nations hope to sign closer cooperation deals with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia at a Nov 28-29 summit. Moscow, however, is urging those nations instead to align themselves closer to Russia.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Monday any more pressure from Moscow would be counterproductive.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, whose country also faces Russian trade measures, said EU nations "have to help to counter the pressure."

Russia told Ukraine a gas price cut would only be possible if Ukraine doesn't sign an EU association agreement. Last month, Russia banned Moldovan wine, arguing that it did not meet quality standards.