REBALANCING OF RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA ‘NO SURPRISE’ SAYS FOREIGN OFFICE

UK
13.05.10


Replying today to AUGB’s open letter to President Yanukovych, the Foreign Office has set out what the UK Government presently believes is most important for their relationship with Ukraine. The letter says that the rebalancing of relations with Russia has come as no surprise, but that the UK places the greatest priority on three factors:

(i) the delivery of reforms necessary for deeper integration into the EU, including conclusion of a substantive EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
(ii) building on the progress made over recent years on democracy, human rights and media freedoms and
(iii) resumption of co-operation with the IMF.

The Foreign Office welcomes President Yanukovych's statements of commitment to all of these objectives and looks forward to their delivery. The UK and EU have stressed the importance of these issues in contacts with the new administration in Ukraine and will continue to do so, as well as offering support.

It is not unexpected that the UK Government has a different perspective from the Ukrainian community on the threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty, but it is clear that there is still significant impetus to tie Ukraine more closely to the EU. If President Yanukovych drags his heels in delivering his commitment to EU integration, that may well change the view of European governments. Similarly, it is clear that the UK and other Governments will be looking for further progress on democracy, human rights and media freedoms. For the moment, the UK and other EU Governments are trusting President Yanukovych to deliver his promises.

We will continue to follow events in Ukraine to see whether that trust is justified.

 

 

 



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