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You're reading: Stronger together

The discussion was interesting and at one point someone asked me: Why
does Europe need Ukraine? At first I was surprised, as the answer
seems so clear to me, but then Mark Twain’s remark on Wagner’s music
came into my mind. This question is also “not as bad as it
sounds”. Why does Europe need Ukraine? And why
does Ukraine need Europe?

Of
course, one always can repeat the obvious: Ukraine is an important
economic partner,
a source of energy security, a bridge to Russia. And certainly, given
its territorial size, its geographic position, its 46 million
population and its role as the main transit state for Russian oil and
gas exports to Central and Western Europe, Ukraine is critical to
European security. 

But
let us stop here for a moment and look at the map. Ukraine is not
only one of the biggest neighbours of the European Union. It borders
directly on four EU Member States: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and
Romania. 

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