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Crisis stirs Ukraine EU-membership debate

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Crisis stirs Ukraine EU-membership debate


The EU has a particular interest in events in Ukraine as the country is seen as a possible future member of the bloc. The European Parliament will today vote on a resolution calling for a re-run of the disputed election before the end of the year. The issue of whether the current situation should accelerate Ukranian entry talks is being hotly debated by members.

One Italian MEP, Lapo Pistelli, believes it is too soon to consider negotiations. Democratic standards have to develop in Ukraine, he said, adding that while the EU should have a special relationship with the country, the answer was not adhesion. But others believe Ukraine now stands at a crossroads and should follow the sign for Brussels. Among them is Poland’s former foreign minister, Bronislaw Geremek.

He said what has happened in Ukraine is irreversible. “Ukrainian society has woken to liberty and that is something we can’t stifle,” he said. It was not a question of if Ukraine should join, but when and how, he said. Poland is one of the EU members states at the forefront of efforts to resolve the crisis. A delegation from the European Parliament is in Ukraine today for further talks with both sides.
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