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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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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.

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    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.

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    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

    - "Abuses in financial markets must stop", stressed also Sarkozy. Backing Merkel's announcement that France and Germany call for an EU meeting to forge "a crystal-clear European position" in view of the G-14 Summit at Pittsburg, he warned that "everyone will have to undertake his responsibilities, in front of World's Public Opinion. particularly those who don't want to make the same effort of regulation as France and Germany".

    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

    Thus, "the time comes, where decisions must be taken". But, in case of "Sanctions", "all International opinion should be convinced of the need to take action", he observed.

    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

    - Therefore, "for EU Commissioners' appointment, it's too early yet, because we must wait for the ratification of Lisbon Treaty" by all 27 EU Member countries, including naturally Ireland's Referendum on early October, said to "EuroFora" the influential President of EU Parliament's largest group of MEPs, Joseph Daul, expressing, however, the hope that a controversial deal with the head of the Socialist Group of MEPs, Martin Schultz of Germany, might hold for Barroso alone, at a forthcoming vote due to fix the Strasbourg plenary's Agenda.

    But MEPs reportedly just "postponed" for 1 week all their previously scheduled group meetings (See : http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/barroso-unveil-summer-homework-week/article-184825 );

    However, while the choice of a new EU Commission's President by EU Parliament is supposed, according to many MEPs' wish, take place according to EU policy issues, paradoxically, this would mean that Barroso's bid would pass before even the anouncement of France and Germany's "initiatives" for EU's "new Horizons"...

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