|Aleksander Kwasniewski, ex-President of Poland|
Ex-President of Poland and prominent political figure Aleksander Kwaśniewski stated Europe needs Ukraine. There is a real chance to continue the path towards the European future for Ukraine after the upcoming parliamentary elections, added Mr. Kwaśniewski. “It’s not Ukraine who needs Europe but the opposite, Europe really needs Ukraine”, Polish politician said. “The situation in Ukraine today is not worse than the situation in some other countries, candidates for EU membership, and in some cases it is even better and more positive. European perspective will give Ukraine more chances to follow the democratic principles and standards, if EU is the main driving force for the promotion of such standards”.
Mr. Kwaśniewski also said that EU is not sure till now which position Ukraine should take and where it should be, but if EU is willing to keep on promoting the democratic ideals it should support Ukraine.
At the same time German politician and ex-European Commissioner for Enlargement Günter Verheugen reported that he had received once the decree from EU’s authorities to “not give Ukraine any hopes and promises”. The politician stated that Europe used to tell Ukraine should make its own choice regarding the issue of its future. But in fact it’s different, because Ukraine has already made its choice. EU is the one who should choose at the current moment, said Mr.Verheugen. “We have to say clear that we want to see Ukraine as a new member of EU. And Ukraine will become its member if it will comply with the criteria formulated by EU”, added German politician.
He also added that from his point of view EU shouldn’t express its attitudes towards the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister and prominent oppositional figure, currently facing the trial and imprisoned. But politically the Mrs.Tymoshenko’s trial was of course a big mistake which significantly worsened the relations between EU and Ukraine.
|Günter Verheugen, ex-European Commissioner|
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Ambassador in the EU Konstantin Eliseev called on the organization to support Ukraine and to sign the Association Agreement for the future of the country.
“I’m calling on my colleagues in EU: sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine! Not because Ukraine wishes it, but because it really deserves it. Because it is the best guarantee of the Ukrainian path towards European standards and ideals and of the Ukraine’s future as an independent and democratic state”, stated Mr.Eliseev.
The Ambassador also said that the issue of the parliamentary elections is very important at the moment, but there will be the new day after those elections when there will be the analysis of the electoral process and its results, while other countries will probably analyze the situation in Ukraine. In addition to that, the diplomat asked the international observers to estimate the elections themselves and not the state of affairs with the democracy in Ukraine.
Mr.Eliseev also thinks that the electoral space in Ukraine still remains competitive as the ruling party is not in its best position at the moment due to several unpopular reforms conducted in the country during the time of their ruling and on the eve of elections. Oppositional forces used this situation for their benefits, thinks the diplomat. He stressed that thanks to the situation with Yulia Tymoshenko, her trial and imprisonment the opposition could unite and gather its powers before the polls. In addition to that it helped the opposition to get the support of the Western countries.
|Konstantin Eliseev, Ukrainian Ambassador in EU|
It’s also worth mentioning that ex-President of the European Commission and Italian ex-Prime Minister Romano Prodi stated recently that Ukraine provides more balanced foreign policy now, especially regarding the relations with Russia and also with the European countries. EU should use this situation and support Ukrainian aspirations on the way to the European integration, thinks the politician.
We would also remind that the future of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and EU is still unpredictable and unstable as the situation in Ukraine remains worrying for the Western countries. EU and also USA call for the reforms, independent judiciary and respect and protecting the human rights and freedoms in Ukraine. The conducting of the parliamentary elections and their fairness and transparency and the release of political prisoners as well are among the main conditions for the possible signing of the agreement.