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Engaging Ukraine Is In Europe's Best Interests - Romano Prodi

KYIV, Ukraine, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

" Ukraine is important to Europe as a source of economic growth and energy security, as well as a bridge to Russia, "  reiterates the former Italian Prime Minister and the former  European Commission  President  Romano Prodi  in his article for the Christian Science Monitor. The title of the article of April 2, 2013, reads  " EU should welcome Ukraine as a partner for Europe's own good " .

In the light of Ukrainian and European leaders finalizing the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement (AA) negotiations, the Italian politician reminds that  the AA would enhance bilateral trade and travel. The document is also expected to benefit Ukraine's closer integration with the 27-nation bloc.

Romano Prodi suggests that reaching out to the Eastern European country [by signing the agreement] would "restrain anti-democratic impulses" in Ukraine, like it did in Hungary, for instance. He reminded that at the time of the eight Central and Eastern European countries' accession to the EU in 2004, some of the new member states displayed conditions worse than those of today's Ukraine. Nowadays, however, these countries, including the post-soviet states, constitute an important part of the EU.

Speaking of the economy, Prodi comments that Ukraine, a country of some 46 million people, offers a large new market for the European products. Boasting highly educated and skilled professionals: software engineers, industrial workers, farmers, etc. Ukraine can provide Europe with new capable workers. " Ukraine's information and high-tech industries can help continue Europe's transformation into the knowledge center of the world," adds Prodi.

Energy-wise, Ukraine is important for energy security in Europe. Ukraine's shale gas deposits of 42 million cubic meters - third-largest in Europe - are recoverable and environmentally friendly, can serve as an energy source for Europe and the world's population in the future.

"It is of economic, political, and geostrategic importance to Europe and the U.S. that Ukraine comes under the European umbrella of shared values and free trade," resumes Romano Prodi. Engaging Ukraine, a reliable NATO partner, would also be beneficial for the West in terms of security interests. This is a serious geopolitical opportunity for Europe and the US. We should make the most of it."

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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