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EU Leaders Give Kiev Until May to Prove It Wants to Look West

BRUSSELS — EU leaders on Monday gave visiting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych until May to show that his country had made progress toward political reform and is serious about clinching a free-trade deal that would move it away from Moscow's orbit.

Both the European Union and Ukraine are keen to cut their energy dependence on Russia, but Ukraine has yet to make a clear choice between closer EU ties or tighter links with Moscow.

The EU set a November target for signing an ambitious free trade and political association agreement that would anchor Ukraine in the Western camp, but it says a deal is conditional on Ukraine's improving its human rights record and addressing "politically motivated convictions," a reference to the jailing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych's archrival.


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