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You're reading: Public must push for European integration

So, after receiving his homework and the May deadline for it, Ukraine’s leader went to Russia. He hoped to receive a better offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the trip did not meet his expectations. Instead of promises from Russia, Yanukovych received a barely veiled threat: either you join the Customs Union and bring your gas transit network with you, or there will be no further talks at all.

We can only guess how badly the visit ended by the next steps undertaken by Yanukovych. He started tightening the screws in the political sphere by increasing pressure on Serhiy Vlasenko, the lawyer of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, by stripping Vlasenko of his parliamentary mandate through court. In the economic sphere, he started the new idea to create a “financial police” force with powers to get into anyone’s home or office without warning or court order to investigate any suspicion of economic misdeeds.

All these actions, along with a complete absence of any official statements on the Russian visit, can lead us to several conclusions.

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