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Ukraine’s New President Plans To Build Ties With West

Ashley Yang |
June 9, 2014 | 12:13 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

President Poroshenko plans to take a full 180 from his predecessor's foreign policy stance.(State Department, Wikimedia Commons)
President Poroshenko plans to take a full 180 from his predecessor's foreign policy stance.(State Department, Wikimedia Commons)
According to Reuters, businessman and newly installed Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko is poised to sign an association and trade agreement with the European Union this month. His predecessor, Viktor Yanukovich spurned the very same document, precipitating the street protests that ultimately caused him to be driven from office.

Poroshenko was rewarded with $48 million in aid from Washington for economic reform in return for his promise to adhere to West-leaning policies.

Much to Russian president Putin’s chagrin, the trade agreement will take the Ukraine into a free-trade zone with the EU and out of Russia’s sphere of influence. Putin has unequivocally warned Poroshenko that signing the agreement would put Ukraine directly at odds with Russia’s economic interests, which Russia will be obliged to take steps to defend. 

Poroshenko also expressed in a combative inaugural speech his unmitigated refusal to accept the loss of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March. His first orders of business also include strengthening security at the Ukraine-Russia border, further marking his decision to seek out new allies for his country. 

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