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Volatile Ukraine - a Testy Path to European Integration

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk tendered his resignation on Sunday prompting an admission from a European official that conditions in that country are "volatile". 

Facing an economic crisis and sovereignty pressures from Russian-backed rebels in the east and the Russian annexation of Crimea, the aspirations for European integration have been an uphill battle since forward thinking Ukrainians took to the Maidan in 2013-14 seeking political reforms. 

However, still plagued by corruption and cronyism issues, Ukraine remains far from full achievement of European integration. Admitting that the "situation in Ukraine is now very volatile", head of the Council of Europe Thorbjoern Jagland, acknowledged: "it is urgent that they establish a new government and even more urgent that they speed up the reform process," Reuters reported. 

Noting that reforms of the Ukrainian judiciary and penal systems as well as decentralization as key objectives to winning the public trust, the Council of Europe official predicted: "A new government will have to take this on in a much more impressive way than has been the case until now."

In massive street protests in 2013-4, Ukrainians affirmed their aspirations for European integration. Yet, historical corruption, cronyism, Russian meddling, separatists in the east and the Russian annexation of Crimea along with economic weakness, have hindered much of Ukraine's progress.