12 February, 14:42

Ukraine should not choose between Europe and Russia, better to maintain cooperation with them - Italian ex-PM

Romano Prodi

Romano Prodi

Romano Prodi

Ukraine should maintain reasonable cooperation with the European Union and Russia, as well as with the United States, Italian ex-premier Romano Prodi said.

In an interview with a Russian news agency on Wednesday, Prodi said, "Unlike most analysts, I don't believe that Ukraine should choose between Europe and Russia. Whoever comes to power in Kiev within years it should maintain reasonable balance in relations with Brussels, Moscow and Washington."

Ukraine should serve a bridge between the East and the West "due to the geopolitical location and historical solid relationship with the Western neighbors, as well as with Russia," the Italian politician said.

"Ukraine assumes big responsibility for the important historic processes, which make it a bridge between the East and the West. It helps facilitate cooperation between Russia and the EU and strengthen trust," Prodi said.

Italy's chairmanship of the European Union is designed to cover up the conflict. "I don't doubt that traditional excellent relations with Russia will allow Italy to play a mediation role in the settlement of the situation," Prodi said.

Ukraine's government must carry out urgent reforms

Ukraine's government must carry out urgent reforms and lift a political factor in the country's economy, Acting Prime Minister Sergei Arbuzov told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

"The main task the Ukrainian government is facing is to carry out reforms. This process should be speeded up to persuade investors of the country's stable situation. A political factor in the economy should be lifted," he said, expressing the hope that this week "law and order will be ensured on streets."

Among priorities Arbuzov also mentioned adoption of local budgets that had been approved in 70 percent of Ukraine's regions.

Speaking of the situation on Ukraine's currency market, he said it remained under control. "The National Bank of Ukraine has made important decisions, its measures are timely and effective," Arbuzov said. "The bank strengthened monitoring over the currency market dynamics, what produced an effect as participants of the market saw themselves."

The acting prime minister said Russia's financial assistance "helps Ukraine to look into the future more optimistically."

Voice of Russia, TASS

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