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European Elections Threaten Ukraine’s Western Path

Voters in Ukraine elected a new president last Sunday. Wealthy businessmanPetro Poroshenko won the election. Pro-European candidates also receivedmany votes.

In other European countries last weekend, many people were voting inEuropean Parliament elections. Voters there supported parties that want toclose Europe’s doors.

The results of the European Parliament elections may reduce Ukraine’schances of stronger ties with the rest of Europe.

Almost one-third of the members who will sit in the parliament come fromparties hostile to the European Union and to EU expansion. In many cases, the new members are fully supportive of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Maria Lipman works for the Carnegie Moscow Center, part of the CarnegieEndowment for International Peace. She predicts that members opposed to the EU will seek to block financial aid to Ukraine.

“The result of the European election is not good for Ukraine. It presages moredifficult decisions, having to do with aid to Ukraine. The European Unionalready has serious burdens. It is not in excellent shape economically. Toassume yet another burden that Ukraine is, and to allocate, actually, hugefunds to Ukraine, is (a) difficult decision.”


French National Front's Marine Le Pen, center, with Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, right, and Austria Freedom Party's Harald Vilimsky gather May 28 after the European elections.

In Ukraine, pro-European candidates won over 80 percent of the votes onSunday. The winner, Petro Poroshenko, won 54 percent.

On Monday, the head of the EU Parliament delegation in Ukraine said the EUis ready to sign a free trade zone agreement with Ukraine, and to continuetalks on visa-free travel.

But back in Brussels, a growing number of European parliament membersmay want to close Europe’s doors. They say Ukraine is Russia’s problem. And the Russian government is reaching out to these anti-EU politicians.

Last month, the leader of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen, visitedMoscow. She praised President Putin, and said there was “no point” inUkraine joining the EU.

Last Sunday her party won the most seats of any French party in theEuropean elections.

Peter Kreko is head of the Political Capital Institute in Hungary. He saysEurope’s nationalist parties are anti-EU and against the United States. Andthey find common ground with President Putin.

“What is the benefit of radical forces for Russia? They are anti-EU -- bothfrom the far left, and on the far right. In Europe, we can find forces that areopenly talking about the end of Europe, and that, in the current form, theEuropean Union should be demolished.”

Russian state media have produced a number of reports about Europe’snationalist and Euroskeptic parties. The Russian government providesfinancial support for the Russian television station RT. Over the past fouryears, RT has reported on Marine Le Pen 144 times. The station spoke withNigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, a total of 17 times. Peter Kreko has been watching Mr. Farage.

“He makes a lot of statements praising Russia, and making lots of statementsabout the greatness of Putin, and how he handled the Syrian, and then theCrimean conflict. And Nigel Farage has a lot of coverage in the pro-Russianmedia, including Voice of Russia, Russian television.

In the elections on Sunday, UKIP won the most votes of any party in Britain.

In Moscow, government officials are clearly pleased with the turn of events. But criticism came from Wall Street Journal reporter John Vinocur in Paris. He wrote that, “Mr. Putin can count at the least on Marine Le Pen as beingappeasement’s loudest cheerleader.”

In the struggle over Ukraine’s future, it appears that some Western Europeansare pushing East. I’m Christopher Cruise.

内容来自 VOA英语学习网https://www.chinavoa.com/show-8246-230698-1.html
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