Yalta European Strategy: NEWS

27.03.2007

Aleksandr Kwasniewski Cannot Imagine Europe of the 21st Century Without Ukraine.

On March 26- 28, in the framework of the events organized by "European Debate Forum" initiated by the non-government network "Yalta European Strategy" (YES), meetings were held of one of the EU leading politician, President of Poland (1995-2005)   Aleksandr Kwasniewski with representatives of the authorities and the public of Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk. The events format envisaged Kwasniewski's appearance and open public discussions on the following topics: "Perspectives for Ukraine's Joining the EU", "Why Does EU Need Ukraine?", "What should Ukraine and EU Do Now?"  On  March 26, Kwasniewski spoke in public in Lviv, on  March 27- in Dnipropetrovsk, and on  March 28- in Donetsk.

‘For Ukraine, it's exhausting and unsafe to adhere to the strategy of indeterminateness in its relationships with Russia and Europe', stated Aleksandr Kwasniewski in one of his speeches. According to him, Ukraine should not stay "in the splits" between Europe and Russia, but determine its place in Europe. ‘In my opinion, even such big country as Russia, with its strategic importance, is not capable to keep on such a vague strategy in the long run - to be here or there,' said  Mr. Kwasniewski. ‘And Ukraine has made a decision which should be carried out'.

‘Unfortunately', stressed Aleksandr Kwasniewski, ‘Ukraine remains politically unpredictable for Europe and it does not send clear signals to the EU, though a year has passed since the parliamentary election'. He considers the disunity of Ukraine's political forces to be one of the most serious challenges on the way toward the EU-integration. ‘You have the elected President and the elected government, and they must unite their efforts for the country's interest. First, lack of political understanding cannot last for so long time; second, Ukraine's signals to the EU should be clear and predictable', underlined the politician.   

Notwithstanding, ex-president of Poland cannot imagine Europe of the 21st century without Ukraine and considers that Ukrainians should also hold to the same opinion. ‘You just underestimate your potential,' believes the politician. In his words, Ukraine needs advertising in Europe. On the one hand, Ukrainians should also understand that the EU membership is advantageous to Ukraine. ‘I, former President of Poland, who knows Ukraine maybe better than all worlds' former presidents taken together, except the Ukrainian ones, and I am telling you: believe me, you have strength for entering the EU, for bringing Ukraine to the NATO, for finding a common language with your nearest neighbors', appealed to the public Kwasniewski.  ‘Lastly, be sure that on the map of Europe, you occupy a permanent and significant place, which is reckoned with'.

Aleksandr Kwasniewski appreciates the value the YES initiative in arranging the public discussions on Ukraine's place in Europe. In his opinion, an open dialogue in which both parties could be heard and could state openly their positions is a sign of the European democracy.

"Yalta European Strategy" (YES) is an independent international organization which brings together high-level members of parliaments, business leaders and scientists from the leading European countries with the aim to facilitate Ukraine's rapprochement with the EU. YES acts as an organizer of the annual forum of experts on European Integration in Yalta.

"European Debate Forum" is an open public discussion with participation of representatives of Ukrainian authorities and public and which covers the topics of Ukraine's cooperation with the European Union: "Perspectives for Ukraine's Joining the EU", "Why Does EU Need Ukraine?", "What Should Ukraine and EU Do Now?"
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