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Wall Street Journal: Ukraine's democracy hasn't come of age

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Aug. 24, 2012, 9:42 a.m. | Op-ed — by Victor Yushchenko

Cheerleaders beat drums under a giant Ukrainian National flag in Kiev on August 23, 2012 to mark National Flag Day on the eve of the 21st anniversary of Ukrainian independence. AFP PHOTO/GENYA SAVILOV
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Victor Yushchenko

Special to Kyiv Post

 For reasons of geography and history, Ukraine will always be close to Russia. But an independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine also needs strong and enduring links with its neighbors to the west. That is why I have always been a leading advocate of greater integration between Ukraine and the European Union.

When I became president of Ukraine following 2004's Orange Revolution, one of my principal strategic goals was to set Ukraine's relations with the EU on a new and ambitious path. This led to the 2008 visa facilitation agreement; Ukrainian participation in EU initiatives such as energy, higher education and "open skies"; and the start, in 2008, of negotiations for a new Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, including a deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement.

 Read more here.

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