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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

    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.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           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".


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.


    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..


 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.


    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..
    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)..
    + 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.  
    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"


    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).
    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.
    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.
    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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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.



2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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