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07.12.2011

British Ambassador warns of danger that Ukraine will end up in a “gray zone”

   

Leigh Turner, the UK Ambassador to Ukraine says that the EU’s significance goes much deeper than merely a common currency. He warned that by hampering the process of European integration, Ukraine risked “ending up in a gray zone between the EU and former Soviet Union”.

Speaking in Donetsk on Tuesday, Mr Turner said that the arrest and imprisonment of Ukrainian opposition leaders oversteps democratic norms. If they are not freed and allowed to take part in political life, then the EU will be unlikely to sign agreements on association and free trade with Ukraine.

This would be a catastrophe for the country, he warns, whereas signing the agreements would open the best of all possible long-term paths for Ukraine’s reform and prosperity.

He cited Poland as an example of the enormously positive role which the EU could play for a country. Poland, which has a smaller population from Ukraine and 20 years ago had the same living standards as in Ukraine, now has an economy which is three time greater than Ukraine’s.

Reported by the BBC Ukrainian Service 

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