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Home arrow newsitems arrow New Ukranian President Yanukovych in Strasbourg : 2011 CoE chairmanship to prepare EU integration

New Ukranian President Yanukovych in Strasbourg : 2011 CoE chairmanship to prepare EU integration

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
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    Start using a huge potential for EU - Ukranian cooperation  in High-Tech. sectors, such as AirSpace (f.ex. Antonov airplane maker, cheaper and more reliable, than the troublesome, delayed A 400 M ; "Sea-Launch" for Satellites, etc), Metal and Chemica' Industry, already available Energy routes, Agriculture, possibly Uranium, etc, depends mainly from Political factors, Ukranian sources from President Victor Yanukovych's entourage told "EuroFora" at his 1st State visit at the CoE, less than a year before he takes over the PanEuropean Organization's Chairmanship, from May 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Russian Diplomatic sources said to "EuroFora" that Moscow wouldn't have any objection for Ukraine to move closer to the EU and/or even to integrate the EU, as long as nobody imposes NATO at its borders : Something apparently easy to achieve, since, already, many EU Member States are not NATO members, (f.ex. Austria, Finland, Cyprus, Ireland, etc), and vice-versa (f.ex. Turkey is inside NATO but outside from the EU).


    Senior EU Officials, speaking earlier to "EuroFora" had advised to wait until the new Ukranian President might decide himself how to deal with the EU, which has already recognized Ukraine as an unquestionably  "European Country", as French President Sarkozy had whole-heartedly accknowledged when he chaired the EU in 2008 (Seen relevant "EuroFora"s NewsReport from the event on the spot).

- "Ukraine is indispensable for CoE's goal to Unite Europe", stressed from the outset CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland.  "Ukraine is a very important  Country for the CoE, because it's one of the biggest Member Countries, and it's located in a very Interesting area for the CoE, where we have a lot of work to do", he added, speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora".

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Symbolically,  Jagland's country of origin, Norway, is linked with Ukraine a.o. with the "Sea-Launch" project for cheap Satellites launched from Sea-platforms close to the Equator by Ukranian Rockets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   - Yanukovych "confirmed that Ukraine is strongly committed in its goal towards EU Integration", and "can help improve and accelerate the process of Europe's Unification".


- "The time of mistrust is gone", underlined the new President of Ukraine. "We have started the process of Democratic and profound Social and Economic Reforms, to bring the country to the highest European Standards", with "an Open and Honest Dialogue with Civil Society our Partners" he promised.

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    Yanukovytch pointed from the start towards his EU goals by observing that It's precisely as far as it concerns  "the Conditions to integrate the EU" that "CoE's support is important", (i.e. for EU's Copenhagen Criteria on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law).


    Speaking of Timetable, he promised that "Ukraine will fullfil all its comitments to the CoE before it takes its Chairmanship on May 2011".


    - "Most important issues for us, on our relations with the EU, are Now, a Free Trade Area, Visa Free Travel, and Association Agreement", he observed in particular.


    - "Ukraine is part and parcel of a great Europe", he stressed. "We want to see Europe United. We want to have a dignified place among European Nations for us".


    - "I have been  elected President to act, not to simply "think", and there are not "2 Truths", one for Internal, and another for eExternal consumption". In fact, "there is One Truth : Ukraine is a Reliable Partner, and we are working now with the EU on the Free Trade and Free Travel area".


    While we are preparing to celebrate the 65th Anniversary since the End of the 2nd World War, "Today, preserving more Unity in Europe, prevention of new Separation lines, is important", he stressed.


    EU obviously couldn't explain to its Citizens why it still spends more than 600 Millions € per year to sustain Turkey's controversial EU bid, while Ukraine, an unquestionably European Country, with its Culture, History, Geographic location, Energy links, AirSpace Technology,  etc. and comparatively much less grave Human Rights' Violations than Ankara's Authorities, might have still to wait in uncertainty, depriving EU from valuable assets..

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 Questioned by a MEP about a reported trend to go back towards an Ukraine - Russia - Belarus Trade Union,  Yanukovych observed  that  - "Ukraine joined the WTO a few Years ago", and "is currently developing Policies based on WTO principles". Therefore, "a Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakstan would be (technically) Impossible Today", "because WTO's Economic Principles wouldn't allow it".


- On the contrary, "Ukraine's interest" is to work for an "EU - Free Trade area". 'We have chosen that Road, supported by the EU", he stressed.


- "Today, we finalized an Agreement with IMF",  and "I hope that on May we will be able to sign it, he added, pointing to previous Governments' Debt, which provoked "a Budget Deficit not lower then Greece's, to put it mildly", as he said. In fact, "our relations with the U.S.A." will prove that Ukraine's policies are "Balanced", he promised.

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    Yanukovych promised "a New Stage", strengthening "Democracy", with respect for "Freedoms" together with "Responsibilities", and anounced his intention to "Personaly control the compliance with CoE's Standards for each Sad event", as he said on incidents affecting the Press.


    - "Any Pressure affecting a Journalist" must be "Investigated", stressed the New President of Ukraine, whose Authorities have already investigated the infamous Gongadze Murder case, searching, finding and punishing 2 executants and an instigator, while also accepting even Foreign Experts to participate in the investigation.


    On the contrary, in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, the brutal killing of Turkish Cypriot  dissident Journalist Adali,  still remains entirely unsolved, with the respondent State, Turkey, always claiming that it didn't manage to find anyone... , despite tha fact that ECHR's judgemens on Gongadze  and Adali cases were issued on the same Year : 2005, leaving, normally, enough Time (5 Years) until 2010 to comply with EuroJudges' clear call for "Efficient Investigations"...


    In these conditions, rumours that CoE's Committee of Ministers' secretariat might "close" in June 2010 the Adali case v. Turkey, while continuing to monitor Ukraine on the Gongadgze case, would be an obvious Scandal of double standards..
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    Replying to Questions from a Romanian MEP asking for Minorities to be able to use their mother Tongue when addressing Local Authorities, or Study even as high as at the University,, Yanukovuch went as far as to promise that various "Ethnic Groups" living in Ukraine, such as "Romanians, Russians, Tatars, and other Minorities", will be given an opportunity to "use their own Language" even for ... University Exams".


    - "We shall Change the System, and we shall apply CoE's Minority Languages' Charter", he anounced, (while EU "Candidate" Turkey, even elected Mayors have been notoriously arested and thrown to Prison just for having used also the Kurdish Language in Public Services to the local population)..
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    + Replying to a Question on the "emotion" expressed among the Ukranian Opposition by an agreement signed with Russia on the maintenance of the Black Sea fleet (traditionaly present there, for many Decades, since when Ukraine was part of the former USSR), Yanukovitc said that this decision was "nothing unexpected".


    But, "sometimes, certain MPs are short of Parliamentary Ethics", he criticized, referring to images of opposition MPs throwing eggs or provoking quarels inside the Rada, which were repeatedly shown by Western Media. "Unfortunately, we were used into that in Ukraine", during the few past years, (of previous governments,notoriously marked by divisions and tension lately),  but "it's high time to put an end to it", he stressed.


    - "Today there are People demonstrating in Kiev against those Agreements with Russia. What do you have to say to those People ?", insisted to ask another Journalist.


- "I have already said something to those People", replied Yanukovych.


- "There are two sides : One side is for, another is against".


- But "the Decision has been made, under the current Legislation and the Constitution, and it will be implemented. Democracy is also discipline", he concluded vis a vis those who threw eggs and/or provoked violent fights even inside the Ukranian Parliament, where they are a Minority since the recent Elections.


- Now, "we ...have a Pragmatically-minded Coalition which is working and adopting the necessary Laws",  "despite the confrontations : As an Example, we adopted not only the (Ukraine-Russia) Agreements, but also the Budget. We wanted to do that before my visit to Strasbourg", Yanukovitsch observed.  
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    Dismissing accusations from a Liberal MEP about reported "attempts to restore Stalinist Monuments" and "restore a Sovietic interpretation of History" by some sectors, particularly the "Education Minister",  Yanukovich observed that "there are some Radical opinions in the Society, which exist". but that he "wasn't aware of any attempt to restore monuments of Stalin",  except from "the wish of a Local PC section to erect a statute in the Backyard of its own Building. This will be solved by a Rederendum", he anounced.


    From the other side of the political spectrum, there are also some "Nationalists" who have "Radical positions", particularly "at the Western Regions" of Ukraine, "but the Majority does not support them. However, "Past Policies, which used to break the Country's Unity apart", as he said, "will not be continued : We shall set up a National Committtee ... on TextBooks and HIstory for Elementary Schools", where "Historians will decide and adopt a concept for further Books"

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    Meanwhile, the Ukranian President rejected an accusation launched by Turkish MEP Cavusoglou (before he was appointed as PACE Chair) that the deadly mass incident known as "Great Famine", which had occured in the 1930ies, might have been an act of Russians against Ukranians, synonymous to the "Genocide" committed against massively deported Armenians by the Ottoman Turks back in 1915 :


    - "Between those Countries which were affected in the 1930ies were all former Soviet Union Countries, and today, we know that the "Great Famine" affected Ukraine, Russia, from Stavropol up to Krasnodar regions, the Volga region, Belarus, Kazakstan, etc.. So, yes, these were the consequences of the Stalinist Totalitarian regime, their attitude to People. And all Countries who were affected by "the Great Famine" acknowledged this", said Janukovych.


    - "But, recognizing the "Great Famine" as a so-called "Genocidal" act, against any particular Nation, is something that we feel would Not be Right, would Not be Just", criticized the President of Ukraine. In fact, "it was a shared Tragedy of (all) the Peoples who, at that time, were part of one State, the Soviet Union", he concluded, (stronly applauded by many MEPs).
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    Russia is "not at all a risk" for us, "but a valuable" opportunity, and such solid partnerships wouldf benefit "all Europe", Yanukovych underlined, while Ukraine's strategic role as a natural "Bridge" between Russia and the EU, f.ex. on Energy transit, has become obvious recently.


    We want to "bring back Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy, restore the Economy, and resolutely pursue EU integration, "being a Reliable Partner for all" our partners, the new Ukranian President stressed.
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    Yanukovych also spoke in favour of "a New (pan)European Security system", (an issue notoriously discussed between French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel with Russian President Medvedev).


    Ukraine wants to be at a "No - Block" situation, (i.e. neither NATO, nor anyone else), and cooperate with the EU, Russia and the US, he confirmed.
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    The new Ukranian President concluded by stressing that his Governemental Coalition is "strongly committed to European Values", and  "provides a Stable and Solid Partnership, with the EU, Russia and the USA", "mutually profitable", on which "Partners  can Rely".

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(Opinion)

Paris - Bruxelles - Strasbourg, 2 septembre 2008

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Le spectaculaire succès du Président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, (en tête de l'UE jusqu'a décembre), à obtenir de suite un cessez le feu inattendu entre la Russie et la Georgie, immédiatement après sa visite aux Présidents Medvedev et Saakashvili, au pire moment de tensions et heurts violents meurtieurs, qui avaient tué plusieurs innocents et provoqué le deplacement forcé de réfugiés par milliers, lui donne incontestablement une stature vraiment européenne :

A ses liens personnels bien connus avec l'Hongrie, la Grece, l'Italie ou l'Espagne, en sus de son amitié avec la chancelière allemande Merkel, son souhait d'essayer d'attirer l'Angleterre au jeu européen, etc, s'y ajoute, maintenant, une réussite, fragile certes, mais importante, au combat pour la Paix dans la "grande" Europe du général De Gaulle, "jusqu'a l'Oural", qui inclut naturellement la Géorgie, l'Arménie et d'autres pays, et ne peut exister qu'avec rapports de confiance et partenartiat stratégique avec la Russie.

Apres avoir réussi à debloquer la situation au Liban, (pays avec liens culturels historiques en Europe), lors du Sommet pour la Méditerranée à Paris, juillet dernier, (comme atteste maintenant le prémier accord d'echange d'Ambassadeurs avec la Syrie), Sarkozy activa maintenant une présidence française de l'EU bien entreprenante, à l'autre bout de l'Europe, à Moscou, où, contrairement à Napoléon, il a été reçu avec soulagement par le nouveau président russe, ami de l'experimenté Vladimir Poutine.

Cet homme politique rélativement nouveau au plan politique européen, avec une vision souvent critique ou même critiquée, à tort ou a raison, mais ambitieuse et concrete a la fois, qui aime s'adresser aux "Européens", comme il dit, n'est-il pas bien placé pour stimuler le fameux débat sur l' "Identité de l' Europe", qu'il a proposé au Parlement Européen récemment à Strasbourg, moins d'un an avant les Elections européennes de 2009 ?

En 2007, il a réussi à faire monter spectaculairement la participation citoyenne aux élections présidentielles en France, obtenant des récords historiques :

N'est-ce pas, justement ce que l' Europe a bésoin, apres 2 abstentions majoritaires sans précedent aux Elections de 1999 et 2004, et 3 "Non" aux réferenda pour ses institutions en 2005 et 2008, pendant une décennie trouble 1999-2008, (marquée surtout par la demande controversée de la Turquie d'entrer dans l'UE eclipsant les avancées de la Monnaie unique et de la liberté de circulation à l'espace Shengen, avec consequences mal-ressenties par la majorité des citoyens, bien au-délà des clivages du passé), qui a failli stopper l'integration européenne ?

Et cela, au moment même ou une globalisation galopante met l'Europe devant un choix crucial entre saut qualitatif en avant, apte à valoriser une occasion historique exceptionelle à se développer résolument, après les vaines destructions, querelles et tensions des guerres "chaudes" ou "froides" qui lui ont couté son rang dans le Monde, ou réculer définitivement en décadence...

Alors, que certains de nos amis à la Commission en Bruxelles, lui laissent au moins un peu d'espace de mouvement, et qu'ils l'aident à tenter d'insufler de l' oxygène frais et vivifiant aux rapports entre les citoyens et une Europe qui a manifestement bésoin et mérite de retrouver d'urgence un nouveau dynamisme populaire, avec un souci de réalisme mais aussi une vision passionante pour son avenir !

Après tout, les Etats Unis d' Amérique ne se sont pas faits à coups de bureaucratie, nécessaire et utile, mais manifestement insuffisante : Sans l'impulsion d'hommes politiques originaux, d'intellectuels vraiment engagés, et, surtout, sans l'enorme énergie émanant de la conscience d'enjeux à la fois pratiques et grandioses, bien resentis par des millions de citoyens, stimulant leur adhésion active comme pioniers d'un nouveau avenir commun à construire, ils seraient encore une ex-colonie périphérique, affaiblie par stériles divisions, passif et impuissant spectateur des convulsions tragiques d'un Monde à la dérive...

Que les vrais "européens" ré-lisent au moins les fameux discours historiques sur l' Europe d'un Sarkozy bien inspiré à Strasbourg, aussi bien avant qu'après avoir gagné les élections françaises, le 21 février et le 2 juillet 2007, après son 1er sommet des Bruxelles, qui a adopté le nouveau Traité de l'UE en conclusion de la presidence allémande : Bonnes lectures pour cet été 2008, afin de préparer l' avenir qui s'ouvrira (ou fermera) à partir des élections européennes de 2009.

Peut-etre revelera-t-il plus, en ce sens, lors de ses 2 discours-debats prochains avec les eurodeputés, prévus lors des sessions plenières du Parlement Européen a Strasbourg en octobre et décembre 2008... 

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Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had already unveiled President Sarkozy's intentions, during a particularly "hot" Press Conference in Paris, where he faced some's insistance for "sanctions", with a call for "a common EU stance". In the meanwhile, he was consulting "all these days" most of his EU, Russia and Georgia counterparts, (as Sarkozy's Spokesman, P-J. Henin confirmed to "EuroFora"). This allowed him to obtained the desired result, as EU Chairman, at a short, exceptional EU Summit in Brussels, afterwards.

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But, Sarkozy's No 1 official, Presidential palace's Secretary General Claude Gueant, active at Elysee during the 2008 Ambassadors' Conference, (together with his Top Diplomat, the experienced David Levitte), is well known for having an overall view : A link with 2009 EU Elections at the horizon ?

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