The events in the Arab world indicate that the European Union cannot deal only with its affairs, and should pay significant attention to countries in eastern and southern neighborhood vectors. Brussels should support democratic reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries, in particular in Ukraine, and their European integration efforts, Polish experts were speaking during a debate in Warsaw entitled "What should be the Eastern policy in light of the "Arab spring?", UKRINFORM reported Wednesday.

"The countries of Eastern Europe should by all means be encouraged to democratic change," independent expert Grzegorz Gromadski said. The key in this context he called Ukraine. "The countries that are seeking to implement reforms, in particular Ukraine, should be given a clear signal about the prospects of membership," he emphasized. Otherwise, for the Eastern countries - the EU's neighbors - it will be hard to approach European standards, Gromadski noted.

Meanwhile, renowned expert and former vice-president of the European Parliament Janusz Onyszkiewicz believes that even in case of Brussels' refusal to give Kyiv in an Association Agreement a membership prospect, Ukraine should attach to the document its own declaration of an attempt to integrate with the EU. He said that Poland did so in 1991 by signing a similar agreement with the EU. "It is necessary under any circumstances to support the European integration of Ukraine, whatever political force is in office in Ukraine," Onyszkiewicz stressed.

Director of the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation (PAUCI) Jan Peklo also stressed the necessity for the European Union and Poland to back Ukraine's European integration. He noted that elections to the Verkhovna Rada will serve a test for democracy in Ukraine.

Most experts also stressed that the major obstacle to Ukraine on the path towards European integration could be the trial of opposition members, particularly, over ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

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