THE EU REFERENDUM AND UKRAINE

21.06.16


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The EU referendum takes place this week. There has been a very wide ranging debate looking at a range of different issues. AUGB does not take a position on the referendum. It is for every member with a vote to use that vote according to their own political views.

This piece looks at the potential impact for Ukraine. It is a collation of the views of a number of Ukrainian journalists and MPs on the UK’s EU referendum vote.

It is recognised that the UK has had a strong voice against Russian aggression and some fear that without the UK, the EU would have a weaker response to Russia, Alex Ryabchyn (Fatherland party), a Ukrainian MP said “Britain has always been a strong voice inside Europe advocating for Ukraine with countries like Greece and Spain, without that voice Europe will be much weaker on Russia”. (The Guardian)

The UK has been particularly strong in fighting for sanctions against Russia as a result of actions in Ukraine, Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian MP (bloc Petro Porosehnko) said "Brexit will seriously compromise the unity of the EU on the issue of sanctions; The EU will lose one of the main lobbyists for sanctions against Russia." (Reuters)

The UK has been a supporter of Ukraine’s EU integration. Yana Sayenko fears that the “removal of UK removes a vote in favour of Ukrainian integration” (Ukrainian Truth)

"The outcome of the referendum in the UK could fragment the European Union and theoretically complicate our EU integration said Oleh Bereziuk, the head of the Samopomich faction in parliament. (Reuters)

Some argue that the EU referendum vote will have no impact on Ukraine, "We will not halt our movement toward the EU, and how they take us on will not depend on the referendum, but on how we carry out reforms and fight corruption," said Leonid Kozachenko (deputy head of Poroshenko's bloc). (Reuters)


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