This is a proud moment for Azerbaijan, who hopes to show that its enormous economic development has matched its political growth: European norms for a European economy.
An independent poll of over 1,000 Azerbaijanis by American polling firm Arthur Finkelstein and Associates shows Aliyev with an 86 percent approval rating among likely voters, a rating that increases to over 90 percent among those certain to vote.
It would be easier for Ukraine to take the co-rapporteurs’ suggestion and eliminate the European Union’s last remaining objection to Kyiv. It must not do so. The rule of law is too precious to be cast aside even in the name of national interest.
This thaw is almost certainly a result of the realization that the constant bludgeoning Ukraine took from Brussels over every failure strengthened apologists for Russia against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s hard pivot to the EU.
Ukraine clearly wants to be part of a united Europe. It is incumbent upon us to help them remain on the road to a modern, European democracy, rather than wasting our time and theirs threatening and reproaching them without end.
PACE has shown that Kyiv can be brought into the fold, through an open-handed process. It is time that the rest of Europe’s institutions recognize this as well.