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EU Still Cool On Entry Perspective For Kyiv --> EU Commissioner Janez Potocnik (file photo) (official site) July 12, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has once again stated its opposition to giving Ukraine a concrete perspective for EU membership.

EU Commissioner Janez Potocnik said today the bloc does not want to "prejudge" future relations with Ukraine.

"Our aim in the negotiations is to bring Ukraine as close as possible to the European Union in as many areas as possible, while not prejudging any possible future developments in European Union-Ukraine relations," Potocnik said.

Potocnik was speaking in Strasbourg at a meeting of the European Parliament, which by contrast favors a clear membership perspective for Ukraine.

The European Parliament has urged Brussels to forge a so-called "association agreement" with Kyiv when the current EU-Ukraine Partnership and Cooperation Agreement expires this year.

The EU's newest member states all signed such association agreements with Brussels prior to receiving candidate status.

Poland has spearheaded efforts to advance Ukraine's EU membership perspectives. Many member states, however, are less keen to see Kyiv join the European bloc.

The European Parliament passed today a resolution recommending a better membership perspective for Ukraine. Such resolutions, however, are non-binding and are not likely to affect EU decisions on foreign policy and expansion.

Ukraine And European Energy Security

A worker inspects a gas facility outside of Kyiv (epa file photo)

MURKY CONNECTIONS. A year after the so-called gas war between Moscow and Kyiv, energy transhipments from Russia to Europe via Ukraine remain a concern. On December 1, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a briefing featuring Tom Mayne, an energy researcher for the London-based Global Witness. Mayne discussed the lack of transparency in the energy sectors of Ukraine, Russia, and gas supplier Turkmenistan.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 60 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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RFE/RL's English-language coverage of Ukraine, Russia, and Turkmenistan.