Ukraine Approves First Laws Toward EU

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian lawmakers have approved a first set of measures expected to pave Kiev's path toward closer integration with the European Union.

The flag of the European Union, with the words written in Ukrainian.

Parliament adopted on September 5 a law stipulating milder regulations in penitentiaries that would allow inmates more frequent family visits, the freedom to use mobile phones and cash, and to wear civilian clothes.

Laws on reforming customs tariffs and on the stricter implementation of court decisions were also adopted in first readings.

President Viktor Yanukovych on September 4 called on members of the ruling Party of Regions to vote for the laws.

Kiev is hoping to sign an EU Association Agreement, which includes a free-trade deal, in November.

Russia openly opposes the plan and is pushing Kiev to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan instead.

Source: Radio Free Europe