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While Ukraine hosted the Yalta European strategy conference, it is feared that the former Soviet republic could be moving further away from the European Union.
Ukrainian Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, spoke of EU criticism such as politically motivated judgements, corruption and the violation of the rule of law:
“We should get rid of these stereotypes,” he said, “The sooner we do this, the better we can develop our relationship on a brand new basis.”
Meanwhile Swedish foreign Minister, Carl Bildt warned that the country was at risk of being stuck in the middle of no-where and failing to form closer ties with either East or West:
“My fear is not that they are going in one direction or another, but that they are going no-where. And in a fast changing global economic environment I think that is even more dangerous, that they are standing still when everything is changing, neither going to the EU nor to the custom union, but standing still with the risk of stagnation.”
A senior US official also warned Ukraine that if it didn’t make some changes ahead of next month’s general election it could fall short of democratic standards, and distance itself on all sides.