Ukraine pact with European Union prompts warning from Russia

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Ukraine signing an historic trade and economic pact with the European Union Friday may bring “grave consequences,” Russia warned.

The agreement also prompted EU leaders to hold off on imposing new sanctions on Russia for its continued military presence in the embattled country.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called Friday’s agreement the “most important day” for his country since it became independent from the Soviet Union.

Russia’s response was threatening but unspecific. “There will undoubtedly be serious consequences for Ukraine and Moldova’s signing,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said.

Moscow does not favor ties between Ukraine and Europe, fearing it will lose its influence over its strategic neighbor, which it considers the birthplace of Russian statehood and of Russian Orthodox Christianity.

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