The Ukrainian government has postponed a European summit, which was due to be held in Yalta this week, after 14 out of 19 invited European Presidents said that they would not attend. Several gave the scandalous treatment of Yuliya Tymoshenko as their reason for deciding not to attend, including the Presidents of Romania. the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany and Hungary.

The Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaitė accepted the invitation to attend, but only after a telephone conversation with President Yanukovych and an undertaking that she would be able to visit Ms Tymoshenko before the summit. She said that this undertaking was a key factor in her decision whether to attend or not.

Spokesman for the government, Oleg Bilorus, said that it was appropriate to cancel the summit, as going ahead with only four or five participants would have made it appear as a boycott. He also said that this was a negative political climate for Ukraine which would impact on further progress towards a closer relationship with the EU.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he made no comment on the reasons why the political climate is 'negative' for Ukraine and gave no hint that Ukraine was prepared to do anything to overcome the negativity. Perhaps the government is waiting for its new PR partner, Burson-Marsteller, to tell them what they need to do.


Ukrayinska Dumka


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