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European Praise For Kiev's Integration Efforts While Ukraine Opposition Earns A Rebuke

BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The European Commissioner for Enlargement has admonished Ukraine's Opposition parties for blocking Parliament from adopting European integration legislation while praising the "encouraging signals from Kyiv" as it prepares to sign an Association Agreement with the EU later this year.

European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Füle noted the efforts of the Government of President Viktor Yanukovych, who has in the past week signed a decree to accelerate efforts necessary for Ukraine's European integration.

"During the recent events we have worked very intensively with Kyiv at all levels," Füle said Wednesday.

"And we took note of encouraging signals from Kyiv for a more effective, politically driven process," he said.

But he firmly rebuked the obstructionist tactics of Ukraine's Opposition, which includes Yulia Tymoshenko's All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland Party, for blocking the Rada (parliament).  

"Let me openly say - it's important that the parliament was not blocked, it is also important that democratic institutions operate transparently and predictably, following the letter and spirit of its own rules," he said.

This rebuke was echoed by Ukraine Party of Regions MP Ivan Popescu who said the fact that "the Opposition continues to block the rostrum, shows that they are for the European integration only in their words."

Füle's comments came during a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the results of his recent work with Kiev. His praise for the Government's commitment to European integration will be welcomed by President Yanukovych who sees the Association Agreement as just one step towards full EU membership.

Yanukovych on Tuesday signed a decree of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) which instructs his own Government to report every month to the European Union on its progress towards the Agreement signing, expected to take place in Vilnius in November.

His Government has also fast-tracked the introduction of the Criminal Procedure Code, a new law on advocacy, and guaranteed compliance with the Convention Against Torture.

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