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Ukraine, European Union sign agreement on closer ties

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, March 21, 2014. Ukraines prime minister has pulled his nation closer into Europes orbit, signing a political association agreement with the EU at a summit of the blocs leaders. Fridays agreement between Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the EU leaders was part of the pact that former President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of last November in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia. That decision sparked the protests that ultimately led to his downfall and flight last month, setting off  one of Europes worst political crises since the Cold War. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, March 21, 2014. Ukraines prime minister has pulled his nation closer into Europes orbit, signing a political association agreement with the EU at a summit of the blocs leaders. Fridays agreement between Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the EU leaders was part of the pact that former President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of last November in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia. That decision sparked the protests that ultimately led to his downfall and flight last month, setting off one of Europes worst political crises since the Cold War. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

The European Union leaders and Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, have signed several chapters of a landmark agreement meant to boost political ties between the two sides.

The signature by Ukraine and the European Union of several chapters in a landmark association agreement shows how important the relationship between the two sides is, EU President Herman Van Rompuy says.

“Signing political part (of) EU-Ukraine association agreement symbolizes importance of relations and will to take it further,” he wrote on Twitter.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite had said earlier that the bloc “is ready to help Ukraine every day ahead.” “(The signature) is symbolic and de facto support to Ukrainian people and its government — politically, economically,” she told journalists in Brussels. “We are behind and with them,” she added.

Russia approves Crimea accession

Meanwhile, the Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, voted in favour of a treaty on the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

The vote comes a day after the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, overwhelmingly supported the treaty.


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