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Ukraine straying away from European values despite its integration slogans — expert

March 27, 2015, 21:52 UTC+3 KIEV
The director of a Kiev-based think-tank notes the clamp-down on the freedom of speech in Ukraine and failures in the process of agreeing a visa-free travel regime with the European Union
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© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

KIEV, March 27. /TASS/. Ukraine is straying further and further from the European values its current authorities used as a slogan in their push for power, a Ukrainian political analyst said on Friday.

"The tasks set by ‘Maidan’ (Kiev’s central Independence Square, the symbol of grass-roots protests — TASS) are not fulfilled, moreover, we are straying away from them in an opposite direction," Mikhail Pogrebinsky, the director of the Kiev-based Center for Political Stdies and Conflictology, a think tank, told a news conference. "I think the previous regime (of former President Viktor Yanukovych) could have done much more in terms of European integration than (current Prime Minister Arseniy) Yatsenyuk and (President Petro) Poroshenko altogether."

He drew attention to the clamp-down on the freedom of speech in Ukraine and to failures in the process of agreeing a visa-free travel regime with the European Union. "We have failed to fulfill all our technical liabilities on the visa-free travel regime. So, we are unlikely to have it in May (at a Riga summit of the Eastern Partnership). This government has been working for a whole year but it did nothing to have a visa-free regime with the European Union," Pogrebinsky said.

Several days ago, the European Union’s ambassador to Ukraine, Jan Tombinski, told journalists the decision on cancelling the visa regime between Ukraine and the European Union would not be taken at the Riga summit of the Eastern Partnership on May 21-22. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko asked the European Union to abolish visas in February 2015, but Tombinski said there had been not enough time for that.

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