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Ukraine should not be forced to choose between EU and Russia - Merkel

18-12-2013 15:15

The door to the European Union for Ukraine remains open after Ukraine and Russia agreed to expand cooperation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

"The offer remains on the table," Merkel told the Bundestag on Wednesday. At the same time, she said that a condition of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is that Germany expects from any other country - "reasonable guarantees of the right to demonstrations and respect for fundamental democratic principles," the Deutsche Welle radio station reported.  Merkel expressed regret that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU. She again urged the end of an "either-or" situation, saying it could not be the case that "a country that lies between Russia and the European Union" has to make decisions that are "always understood [to be] either for the one, or for the other."