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Ukraine: EU Official Says Political System Holds Kyiv Back

  • Ahto Lobjakas --> Javiar Solana (AFP) BRUSSELS -- Ukraine's troubles in integrating with the West can be attributed to a lack of "political solidity."

That's according to EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana, who pointed to the deep divisions within Ukraine over its government's attempts to join NATO and, eventually, the European Union.

Addressing the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels, Solana said NATO rejected Ukraine's application for a Membership Action Plan during its annual summit this week because the country is not sufficiently mature politically.

"Ukraine does not have a political system which is at the level of the aspirations of some [of its] leaders to be part of international organizations," he said. "That has been the response that, in a way, has been given by NATO."

Solana said the message sent to Ukraine at the April 2-4 summit in Bucharest was that its leaders must act in a "much more constructive manner within the country."

He also noted that Ukraine's economic growth, while robust, does not fully meet the country's potential. This he attributed to a "lack of political solidarity, political solidity of the leadership"

"We are helping as much as we can," Solana said. But he added that to reward Ukraine with entry into Western institutions such as NATO before Kyiv shows that it is "doing the job properly, would be too much to ask."
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