Press statement by Elmar Brok, chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, at the meeting of the chairpersons of the committees in foreign affairs of the European Union (Vilnius, 28 November 2013).

I still strongly believe in our neighbourhood policy and, despite today’s failure to sign the Agreement with Ukraine, I think we must remain true to our democratic values. We did not set our standards too high.

We have offered our Ukrainian partners all the help we could give, to ensure that they could sign the agreement, but they lacked the political will. Their reliance on Russia is a serious mistake. They know very well that the transformation of their country is the necessary requirement to ensure the durable economic and social prosperity of Ukraine. Today’s reforms, no matter how difficult, are an investment for a better future. Therefore the argument used by President Yanukovych that the signing of huge agreement would cost Ukraine billions of euros is simply false.

Now our door must remain open but we must explain to the Ukrainian people that our Europe is a Europe of values not just a Europe of money“ stated Elmar Brok in a panel on Ukraine, together with former President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, and Vitali Klitschko, leader of the Democratic Alliance for Reform in Ukraine.

Mr Brok praised the courage of the Ukrainian youth who is fighting for their country and their sovereign right to choose the future of their country. Mr Brok also called  on EU leaders to ensure that the EU gave a strong response to the unlawful pressure exercised by Russia on its neighbours and used all the instruments at its disposal to provide support to our eastern partners.