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You're reading: US, EU may want to consider visa bans

Steven Pifer writes: It may be time for U.S. and EU officials to consult as to whether it is appropriate to consider lists of Ukrainian individuals who would be denied visas to visit the U.S.and EU member.

… Regrettably, the first two years of President [Viktor] Yanukovych’s tenure in office have seen a significant regression in democratic practices within Ukraine. That is unfortunate for the Ukrainian people, and it is blocking the strengthening of Ukraine’s relations with the European Union and the United States. EU officials have made clear, for example, that the signature of an EU association agreement with Ukraine depends on Kyiv taking certain steps, such as releasing former Prime Minister [Yulia] Tymoshenko from prison.

…It remains in the U.S. interest that Ukraine develop as a stable, independent, democratic, market-oriented state increasingly integrated into Europe and institutions such as the European Union … Democratic regression within Ukraine, however, impedes that country’s ability to draw closer to the West … with weaker relations with the West, Kyiv will find that is has less room for maneuver in its dealings with Moscow. Tough negotiations will likely become even more difficult.

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