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Chatham House think tank: Ukraine needs 'tough love'

Feb. 28, 2014 at 11:20 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Members of the European community need to stay committed to Ukraine to prevent a repeat of recent crises, the deputy chairman of Chatham House said Friday.

A new Ukrainian government is forming around interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych. A decision in November by Yanukovych to suspend efforts to move closer to the European Union sparked protests that turned violent.

European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has made at least four visits to Ukraine this year to discuss political trends, though Roderic Lyne, deputy chairman of London think tank Chatham House said Ukraine, and other Eastern European states, needs consistent engagement from the West.

"When the immediate crisis subsides, it is high time that Western leaders gave more thought to the wider issue of European security and stability," he said in a paper published Friday.

Yatsenyuk said the Ukrainian economy is in ruins, something Lyne said was in part the fault of a failure to develop a modern state system after Ukraine broke from the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Ukraine, Lyne said, needs "tough love" in order to emerge successfully from the post-Yanukovych crisis.

"There is no point in pouring funds into Ukraine unless strict conditionality is applied," he said. "That would lead to more wasted decades."

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