Russia has warned of serious consequences following Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s signing of a deal with European Parliament President Martin Schultz.
The agreement known as the EU-Ukraine association agreement should deepen economic and political ties with the European Union.
Lawmakers in Kyiv called it a ‘historic day’.
It was the same one former President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign last November triggering months of protests.
The deal which was simultaneously ratified in Kyiv and Strasbourg will make Ukraine compliant with EU standards in areas of human rights, security and arms control and remove trade barriers.
In the Russian parliament members of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party reacted with dismay.
“Everyone was probably ready for this. Russia was hoping until the last moment that Ukraine wouldn’t destroy the economic foundation it lives on, but judging from the signals coming from Kyiv there’s no logic to their actions,” said Nikolay Valuyev.
His colleague Franz Klintsevich added:
“As soon as these agreements are approved we’ll be forced to close our borders for many goods because we clearly understand that neither Ukraine no Russia will be able to compete with the relatively cheap high quality products from Europe. “
Russia has negotiated a postponement until 2016 of the free-trade part of the deal.
But the the current crisis has already hit trade ties with the neighbours imposing economic sanctions on each other.