Ashton expects answer to questions about Kyiv's future relations with Russia and EU

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Jan. 12, 2010, 11:56 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Brussels, January 12 (Interfax-Ukraine) - High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Baroness Catherine Ashton has said that there are issues raising concern in the EU about the results of the presidential election in Ukraine - the development of relations with Russia and relations with the EU in certain areas. "There are real concerns that we've got to address immediately after the elections. One is, what will [Ukraine's] relationship with Russia be [after the presidential election]. How do we support specifically the issues on which we're already working - judicial issues, and the rule of law? Where are we going in terms of moving forward to a trade agreement? Work has begun, but there is a huge amount of work and a huge amount of expectation about what Ukraine needs to do. So it's not that I don't have clear ideas of the areas that we need to discuss and to be able to go and do so quickly, but I think we just have to wait until the elections are over before we can do that," she said during public hearings in Brussels on Monday, regarding her appointment as high representative for foreign policy.

The question on Ukraine was put by MEP Marek Siwiec, who said that the baroness gave no concrete answers, but spoke in general.

He asked her: "Is there a plan for Ukraine after the presidential elections? Does the European Union have a plan for relations with Ukraine and its new president? Ukraine is in political chaos, which I think suits many people in the EU. Is the association agreement going to be completed? Are we going to be talking about things that matter to us?"

Ashton commented on the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine.

"We don't know, and it's interesting that we don't know who is going to win. I think that it's actually quite significant for this country that we don't know. Perhaps, this is a really strong indication of democracy at work," she said.
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