Valeriy Kucheruk on Ukraine

All through the 20 years of independence Ukraine declared complete and full integration into the EU as a strategic objective of its foreign policy. At different times and under different governments differed both the intensity and effectiveness of efforts in this direction. But exactly in the last few years official Kyiv has made significant progress in the process of negotiations on European integration. Now, right before the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Ukraine as never needs reliable supporters in the European Union.

It’s no secret that Poland for decades has been and remains one of the most consistent “advocates” of Ukraine in the EU. Polish leadership has repeatedly stated that fully supports and will promote Ukraine’s European integration efforts. For example, President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski recently said that Ukraine has a clear trend to accelerate work on the reforms and changes in the law, which is a necessary precondition for the signing of Association Agreement with the EU in Vilnius in November. “I see tremendous progress in Ukraine to fulfill its obligations not only in the context of initialed Association Agreement, but also to fulfill the necessary conditions for its signing”, – he emphasized. Mr Komorowski added that now Ukraine is working hard to make those changes in the legislation, which the European Union requires to implement, – “As can be seen, there is a clear trend in Ukraine to accelerate work on the norms, which may be a condition of consent for the signing of the Association Agreement.”

In its European integration aspirations Ukraine can rely not only on this traditional ally. The role of “promoter” of Ukrainian interests are willing to try on themselves such countries as Lithuania, and Latvia, and even Denmark with Croatia, as at different times claimed the leaders of these states.

Top officials of each of these countries, publicly demonstrating their benevolence to Ukraine, in one form or another have noted that, despite their willingness to promote the interests of Ukraine in the EU, only the real actions and achievements of our state will have a value on the path to full membership in the European Community.

At the same time, let’s not forget that each of the so-called European “advocates” besides promoting of the Ukrainian interests pursues his own goals. It is quite possible that the general requirements for “real actions and achievements” can hide very specific things that may not always be beneficial to our country. This can either be not entirely adequate economic concessions or direct pressure in order to interfere in the internal politics, providing preferences to one or another political force or politics. Often (not always) European “advocates” play their own geopolitical or domestic political game, and at the same time hide behind the protection of the interests of Ukraine.

That’s exactly why, after the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, Ukraine is important to minimize the dependence on the so-called European “advocates and promoters”. Ukraine is important to build a direct and effective communication with key European capitals – Berlin, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Stockholm – without intermediaries. And also, gradually become an active geopolitical player, at least, in the territory Eastern Europe. And that is why in our country’s relations with its European “advocates” should dominate not their, but our – Ukrainian interest.

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