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Tony Blair, the favourite to become Europe’s first president, is believed to have accepted tens of thousands of pounds from a steel billionaire campaigning for Ukraine to join the European Union.
Victor Pinchuk, who is championing the country’s bid for EU membership, has already hired Stephen Byers, the former Labour cabinet minister, to press his case. He reportedly paid Blair to give a keynote speech in Ukraine.
Ukrainian diplomats are preparing to launch a membership bid as early as next year and consider Blair a key ally.
Several European countries support closer economic ties with Ukraine but have not directly backed a bid. Some, including Germany, are concerned that closer links with Ukraine may jeopardise relations with Russia.
Blair’s commercial activities and links to key business figures such as Pinchuk will come under scrutiny in any campaign for the EU presidency. The details of the role and contract of employment for the presidency are expected to be discussed by Gordon Brown and other leaders this month.
Originally posted by george_gaz
reply to post by Dermo
Thanks for clearing that up for me.
I have always been able to see that this was the way that the world was going. That the EU would soon just be the EU as a state in its own right. I did not however think it would happen this fast.