Ukraine 'in a sorry state', says EU

The European Union has said Ukraine was in a "sorry state" and the country deserved better governance after a brawl that broke out in parliament.

    Parliamentarians fight for power in Kiev

    Erkki Tuomioja, Finland's foreign minister who currently holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, said on Wednesday: "Ukraine is making it difficult for the European Union to engage with the country.

    "But we will certainly continue to do so, it is important for the Ukranians."

    Meanwhile, demonstrators started erecting tents on Independence Square in Kiev - the site of the Orange revolution in 2004 - where Viktor Yushenko, Ukraine's president, rose to victory over the former leader, Viktor Yanukovych.

    Supporters of the pro-Russian Yanukovych waved blue and yellow flags while shouting slogans such as "Ukraine needs stability" and "enough we are fed up of this farce".

    In a complete turnaround, Ukraine may return to its Soviet roots with the nomination of Viktor Yanukovych for prime minister, after the chaotic session on Tuesday in which members of the Orange revolution party brawled and blared sirens.

    After the session, a coalition was formed between the former ruling pro-Russian group, the socialists and the communists.

    Yushenko promised to lead the country to modernisation and Western values only two years ago.

    However, the country has been plunged into political uncertainty since Yanukovych's Regions party won the biggest share of the vote in parliamentary elections in March but did not get an overall majority.

    Economic ties

    Facing a government of his adversaries, the president promised that there would be no big changes to his programme of moving into the European mainstream.

    Yushenko has set his sights on early EU membership. This may be short-lived optimism as the EU is obliged only to strengthen economic ties with its neighbour under the EU's neighbourhood policy, not offer membership.

    With current resistance surfacing within the 25-nation bloc to ratify the EU constitution, Ukraine may be in for a long wait.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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