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Published On: Fri, Jun 27th, 2014

UN Reports over 100K Ukrainians moved to Russia as EU signs trade deal with Ukraine

The number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia has reached 110,000 people, while the 54,400 others have been internally displaced, the UN’s refugee department stated. Meanwhile the Ukraine has signed the economic part of the Association Agreement with the EU, with Georgia and Moldova also joining the pact, even though big economic risks lie ahead.

photo by Guillaume Speurt from Vilnius, Lithuania via wikimedia commons

photo by Guillaume Speurt from Vilnius, Lithuania via wikimedia commons

The signing of the economic part of the agreement comes after 8 months of violent unrest in Ukraine, which broke out in Kiev and spread across the country in the fall after then-President Viktor Yanukovich decided to reject the trade agreement in favor of trilateral talks.

The instability has resulted in some 16,400 people fleeing their homes in eastern Ukraine over the past week.  “We are seeing a sharp rise in (internal) displacement in Ukraine,” Melissa Fleming, chief spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news briefing.

9,500 people have officially applied for the asylum in Russia Melissa Fleming said, while 700 others have gone to Poland, Belarus, the Czech Republic and Romania.

The EU deal is possibly a means to bring some stable to the country. “By signing the association agreement, Ukraine, like European nation, which shares the same rules of law, stresses its sovereign choice to become a member of the EU Association Agreement in the future,” said Ukraine’s President Poroshenko before the signing ceremony. The Ukrainian President sees the trade document as a stepping stone to eventual EU statehood.

Free Trade Agreement will open up trade barriers between the former Soviet states, but doesn’t guarantee them EU membership, a main goal of the three governments.

“It is their sovereign right, but the Russian Federation will have to take measures in case it negatively effects the local market,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson said, commenting on the agreements signed between the EU and Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

Russia has warned these “measures” could include $500 billion in lost trade and possible bans on Ukrainian imports.

“There is no economic growth to be had by suddenly having western European goods dumped at low cost on your marketplace,” Patrick Young, an expert on emerging markets, told RT.

In order to fully implement the free trade zone, it could cost Ukraine’s already fragile economy an additional $104 billion, according to a previous estimate by Yanukovich. This will include adopting hundreds of new trade laws and thousands of new laws to comply with EU standards.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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