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5 April, 2013 12:00   ▪  

The Economist: Yanukovych’s choice seems to be to align neither with EU nor with Russia

Ukraine is not following any particular route at the moment, claims The Economist.

“But it (Ukraine – Ed.) is not following any particular route. With Russia pressing Ukraine to join the Eurasian Union and the European Union still trying to lure Ukraine into an association and free-trade agreement, Mr Yanukovych’s choice seems to be to do neither—justifying Ukraine’s name, meaning “borderland”,” underlines The Economist.

“At a recent summit, the EU told Mr Yanukovych to take genuine steps towards political reform and to stop persecuting his political opponents if he wanted a deal. Yet within days, Ms Tymoshenko’s principal lawyer, Sergei Vlasenko, had been kicked out of parliament and charged with car theft and robbery. A few weeks earlier, asked at a press conference about the risk of being arrested, Mr Vlasenko showed a middle finger to Mr Yanukovych. Mr Yanukovych seems to have responded in kind, to the disbelief of many Western ambassadors,” says The Economist.

“Yet Mr Yanukovych is hardly more accommodating towards Russia. After Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, angrily lectured him about the benefits of the Eurasian Union, including cheaper gas, Ukraine started to buy gas from Hungary to reduce its dependence on Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled gas giant. Gazprom accused Ukraine of scheming,” adds the magazine. 

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