Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych during the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting entitled 'Ukraine and the World: Addressing Tomorrow’s Challenges Together', organized by the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. More than 200 leaders from politics, business and society representing more than 20 countries will discuss major global challenges and their impact on Europe, Ukraine and the world. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
While global issues, chiefly the economy and innovation, were the focus of Day One of the Yalta European Strategy conference Yalta European Strategy conference, the conversation on Day Two centered more around the host country, Ukraine.
The country’s Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, began in the morning by detailing Ukraine’s challenges. Food and energy security remain central concerns for him, while he also admitted he was not satisfied with the results of measures to tackle corruption. If Ukraine is to meet these challenges it needs a committed partner.
The good news is it has two suitors: the EU to the west and the Russian-led Customs Union to the east. The less good news is that both come with baggage.