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15 May, 2013 14:45   ▪  

EUobserver: both the EU and the Russia options pose a threat to Yanukovych`s power

There still doubts remain in EU on Victor Yanukovych's intentions concerning foreign policy of Ukraine, Andrew Rettman, journalist of EUobserver, writes in his article.

Poland and Lithuania have distanced themselves from the Tymoshenko cause, however. Their diplomats are saying the future of Ukraine is more important than any one person, while highlighting alleged corruption in her time in office. Germany, previously the most sceptical EU country on boosting Ukraine ties, has also moved closer to Poland's point of view. Its diplomats are saying it would be useful to give Kiev a promise of future EU enlargement in order to entice it toward the West,” Rettman claims.

READ ALSO: Ukraine in the EU: Asset or Liability?

Rettman notes that in EU at the moment remain doubts on Yanukovych's intentions.

“He has also used the prospect of an EU deal to try to wangle cheaper gas prices from Russia, while using the prospect of joining a Russia-led Customs Union as a way to wangle concessions on EU reform demands. Both the EU and the Russia options pose a threat to his power - if he goes down the path of pro-EU democratisation, he risks being unseated in elections. But if he joins the Customs Union, he risks seeing his business interests taken over by Russian oligarchs,” Rettman underlines.

“We are seeing signs of an attempt to derail the association agreement, but in such a way that he can blame it on the EU side in order to save face at home,” one Kiev-based EU diplomat said in a comment to EUobserver.

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