The FINANCIAL -- Poland's
President Bronislaw Komorowski on Thursday said Ukraine had a choice to
make, urging the ex-Soviet country to decide whether its future lied
with Europe or a Russian-led bloc.
"One thing is certain. It is impossible to realise the two integration scenarios simultaneously," Komorowski said after talks with his Ukrainian host President Viktor Yanukovych.
"A choice needs to be made. And it is Ukraine that must make this choice. Poland can only help," he said, adding that his country could promote Kiev 's interests in the European bloc.
Komorowski suggested that Ukraine would be better off with the West.
"Integration with the West and the European Union is more useful because it means huge opportunities for development."
Ukraine's Soviet-era master Russia has been pushing for closer ties, hoping Kiev could one day join a so-called Eurasian Union, a project championed by MOSCOW 's President Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine had sought closer EU integration until its relations with Brussels stalled over Yanukovych's refusal to release his jailed political foe, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years last October on charges of abuse of power while in office, after a trial that was bitterly criticised by the West as appearing politically motivated.
Komorowski expressed concern about Tymoshenko's fate, stressing that her imprisonment was hampering Ukraine 's chances of signing a key trade and political deal with Brussels.
Tymoshenko's case, he said, can be a "hindrance to signing and ratifying the Association agreement."
As EUbusiness reported, critics see the Tymoshenko case as politically motivated after Yanukovych narrowly beat the former prime minister, who was also his arch enemy during the Orange Revolution pro-democracy movement, in 2010 presidential polls.