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You're reading: Ukraine, Russia and free trade

The
EU needs Ukraine to comply with some key conditions before the
agreement is signed. These include a fix of improper electoral rules
and other reforms and, most importantly, the release of ex-premier
Yulia Tymoshenko.

There’s
been progress on some reforms but ensuring free elections is not one
of them. Last fall’s parliamentary elections saw serious vote
tampering in five races. Opposition party winners were replaced by
the president’s Party of Regions. Re-elections have yet to take
place.

Meanwhile,
opposition candidate Arkady Kornatskiy has fled the country with his
family (Kornatskiy has since returned). Their lives have been
threatened, business raided and staff incarcerated. Kornatskiy’s
chief accountant was arrested while on a walk near her home. She’s
been held in a detention centre without being accused or having a
trial for nearly six months.

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