AMBASSADOR'S BLOG - UKRAINE/EU: ARTICLE BY 5 EUROPEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS

06.03.12



Sergei Supinsky/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. A picture of Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko at a rally in Kyiv on December 14, 2011.

This post is also available in: Ukrainian

The Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany have published an important article in the International Herald Tribune about Ukraine.

In the article, the authors note that they see themselves as Ukraine’s allies and are convinced that closer political and economic ties, as well as people-to-people contacts, between the EU and Ukraine offer huge benefits for both partners. They note that while the EU and Ukraine started negotiations five years ago on a groundbreaking new agreement with the aim of fostering Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU, the association process has now, in effect, been blocked by Ukraine’s actions.

The authors note growing concerns about the state of democracy in Ukraine and recent developments which are incompatible with Ukraine’s European choice, including trials which “bear the marks of politically motivated and selective justice”. They note that the October 2012 parliamentary elections will be a litmus test for democracy. “On that day,” the authors write, “the eyes of the international community will be on Ukraine, with the hope and expectation that the country will not renege on its tradition of free and fair elections. This includes ensuring that the opposition is allowed to participate fully. We wish to underline that ultimately, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that all political parties, including the opposition and its leaders, are able to participate on equal terms.”

The article concludes: “Twenty years of independence and sovereignty have brought an irreversible change in the mentality of the Ukrainian society. The people of Ukraine are Europeans and share European values. Our goal is to anchor Ukraine in the European family, as symbolized through the signing and ratification of the association agreement. We call on the Ukrainian leadership to display the political courage and wisdom needed for this to happen.”

The authors also call on Ukraine to send an early invitation to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to pave the way for an international observer mission.

A Ukrainian version of the text is on the Embassy website

Tags: democracy, economic benefits, eu, integration, opposition, trials, ukraine, William Hague

Leigh Turner

 



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