EU tells Kiev to get serious about reform

March 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM
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BRUSSELS, March 1 (UPI) -- The European Union is ready to sign an association agreement Ukraine as soon as Kiev shows it's serious about undertaking reforms, a commissioner said.

European Commission for Enlargement Stefan Fule said meetings in Brussels with European financial leaders addressed engagement with Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych traveled this week to Brussels to discuss plans to move closer to the European community. Fule said financial meetings following Yanukovych's visit were a good chance to review upcoming partnership decisions.

"The European Union is committed to proceed with signing the association agreement as soon as Ukraine demonstrates determined action and tangible progress in the areas of justice, elections and Association Agenda reforms," he said in a statement.

A World Bank assessment said Ukraine is slowly emerging from the economic crisis that gripped much of the world in 2009. The bank, however, said that fiscal imbalances in Ukraine "are significant."

European leaders expressed concern with Ukraine's perceived targeting of political opponents, adding that parliamentary elections in October were seen as a step backward politically.

"We hope to sign the association agreement with Ukraine at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November," Fule said.

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