Ukraine is committed to its European integration aspirations despite political problems standing in the country’s way to the EU. This statement was expressed the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Valeriy Khoroshkovsky during the session “UEW 2012 (Ukraine, East, West? Version 2012)” at the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting.
According to him Ukraine, at the strategic level, is not yet a fully-fledged participant in the global processes. “We are not participating, we are only discussing. It's sad, but it must be admitted as a fact,” said First Vice Prime Minister, “We need to consider the possibility of including Ukraine in the context of the global scale processes. Then the need to choose between West or East will be less critical.”
In terms of the legislation, said Valeriy Khoroshkovsky, in 2001 Ukraine started the process of bringing its legislation in line with European norms. For 11 years every bill has been examined for compliance with the EU regulations. “We can talk about the speed or quality of these transformations. But the direction is already given. The EU integration is our priority, and it is inscribed into law. So, the discussion in terms of “East or West” is not quite correct,” said the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine. On a technical level, the relations between Ukraine and the EU are moving in three directions: the Association Agreement, introduction of visa-free regime, and free trade zones.
In today’s Ukraine-Europe relations political aspect is at the top of the list. “This aspect did not appear from nowhere, but the problem is so acute that overshadows our other attempts to get closer to the EU”, said Valeriy Khoroshkovsky. In addition, he expressed his gratitude to the European partners of Ukraine. “It’s not easy for us, but we are grateful to our colleagues from the European Union. After all, if we solve these problems, it will be easier to work within the EU.”
The statesman emphasized that Ukraine's relations with the Customs Union is not a matter of strategic choice, but the matter of building an effective and mutually beneficial relations with Ukraine’s immediate neighbors. "Who doesn’t want to live in peace with the neighbors? Russia is on one side, the EU the other. But this is not a matter of geopolitical and geostrategic choice. To avoid any doubts as to where we should go, we must hear our people, who, in their majority, support movement towards the EU. Therefore, any Ukrainian politician who decides to counter with this choice won’t be able to have a long-term and effective life in the political arena,” concluded Khoroshkovskiy.
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