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You're reading: Ukraine will benefit from Vilnius signing

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 EU neighbors. It borders directly on four of the 28 EU member states: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. 

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