The European Union is holding a summit in Ukraine on Friday but it is likely to be overshadowed by political uncertainty in the country.
A bitter power struggle between the country’s leaders led to an early election being called. The summit is due to be attended by the presidents of the European Union and the European Commission. The event hosted by Ukraine’s president and prime minister will discuss the progress the country has made. Ukraine became a pro-Western country almost three years ago.
Following the mass protests of the Orange Revolution this former Soviet republic turned it’s back on Russia and made membership of the European Union one of it top priorities. Expectations of Ukraine were high. While the country has become more democratic, the pace of reform has been slow and there has been one crisis after another. A former Ukrainian foreign minister told that there is frustration in Brussels at the continuing political turmoil. At the heart of this is a power struggle between the president and the prime minister.
But despite this instability, President Viktor Yushchenko says there is agreement over Ukraine’s European position. “This direction of Ukrainian politics has no alternatives.” said Yushchenko. “It is not just a matter of fashion that we move towards the West. It means that Ukraine will grow stronger, and that we will be able to work towards European integration and Nato.” This summit was organized long before the early election was called for late September. It is expected that President Yushchenko and Prime Minster Viktor Yanukovych will told that the vote in two weeks’ time will be a key test of the country’s democracy and its commitment to European values. (BBC News)