EU still frustrated with Ukraine

June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM   |   Comments

LUXEMBOURG, June 25 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian government has made progress in opening political doors but has more work to do in terms of selective justice, an EU leader said.

The Ukrainian government is keen on building a better relationship with the European Union. EU representatives this year said the bloc was ready to sign an association agreement with Ukraine provided the government addresses a series of political concerns.

European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said concessions made to some opposition leaders was a step in the right direction

"However, more needs to be done by Ukraine to achieve tangible progress on all the benchmarks," he said Monday. "Increased determination and reinforced action is now needed."

Visiting Germany Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said last week he was particularly concerned about the detention of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She was sentenced in 2011 to seven years in prison on charges she abused her position of authority in brokering a natural gas deal with Russian energy company Gazprom in 2009.

European leaders said they suspect the charges against Tymoshenko, leader of the country's Orange Revolution in 2005, were politically motivated.

"I emphasized the need for a clear strategy to deal with the issue of selective justice," Fule said.

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