Europeans support Ukraine as EU member

19:58, 18 July 2006
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Support for Ukraine’s accession is highest in Italy and Spain

Many adults in five European nations believe Ukraine should join the European Union (EU), according to a poll by Harris Interactive published in the Financial Times. 51 per cent of respondents would support Ukraine’s admission into the continental group.

      Support for Ukraine’s accession is highest in Italy and Spain, at 69 and 65 per cent respectively. 43 per cent of respondents in both Britain and Germany are in favour of the proposal, while only 36 per cent in France concur.

      Viktor Yushchenko won the December 2004 presidential election in Ukraine, with 51.99 per cent of the vote in an unprecedented third round against former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych. In January 2005, Yushchenko declared, "Our way to the future is the way of a united Europe. We, along with the people of Europe, belong to one civilization. We share similar values."

      In December 2005, the EU-Ukraine summit took place in Kiev. The EU declared Ukraine as a market economy. Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko expressed satisfaction with the decision, saying, "The changing of status causes a chain of changes in our relationship." There is currently no timetable for the start of accession talks.

      When Europeans are asked about Russia’s accession into the EU, only 45 per cent of respondents are in favour. Less than four-in-ten residents of France, Germany and Britain would like to see Russia as a full-fledged EU member.

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