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U.S. sees EU promise for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

Nov. 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Victoria Nuland said Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia worked hard to court the EU in the face of Russian pressure.

The European Union considers association and free trade agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia during a Nov. 28 summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Nuland testified Thursday before a Senate subcommittee on European affairs. She said all three "have worked hard to bring their judicial and law enforcement structures closer to EU standards and to prepare their political systems and economic and energy markets for greater integration with Europe."

Ukraine has passed more than a dozen measures aimed at harmonizing with EU standards while Georgia and Moldova have embraced the requirements needed for signing association agreements, she said.

Russia, however, has worked against their efforts by exerting pressure on their respective economies by way of trade restrictions, she said.

Nuland testified Moldova and Georgia meet the tough conditions to ensure a "yes" vote at Vilnius.

Ukraine, however, has more work to do, she said. Ukraine is under pressure to pass legislation that would let jailed Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, an influential opposition leader, get medical treatment outside the country. She was jailed in 2011 for abuse of power in a natural gas deal with Russia's Gazprom.

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