Ukraine? Should it be european or russian?

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On 16th June in the Polish parliament common Polish-Ukrainian conference devoted to the discussion of prospects of Ukraine’;s association with European Union before Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for November 2013 in Vilnius. The meeting was organized by Boleslaw Chrobry Foundation and parliamentary group “Solidary Poland”. Among its participants there were MPs from Poland and Ukraine, as well as experts and journalists from both countries. The debate focussed on several topics including the gains springing from EU-Ukraine association agreement, the reasons of controversies particularly springing from different understanding of judicial procedures.

“Ukraine has already voiced its strategic choice, and it’;s the European integration. We should not doubt that it has made significant progress, concerning the rule of law and it strives towards implementation of European standards” – claimed Andrzej Romanek (MP). He said that its not Ukrainian authorities that are going to integrate with EU, but the Ukrainian citizens and nation, regardless their political affiliations, who have already made their choice. Dmitry Dzangirov, Ukrainian journalist and political scientist, referred to opinion polls made in Ukraine in rece nt months, which prove that over 60% of the population support the European direction of its politicy. Alexey Plotnikov, member of Political Board of the Party of Regions, stressed that the European choice of Ukraine is not a step against anyone, particularly Russia, but might rather be a kind of complementary policy.  Prof. Pawel Bromski, rector of Warsaw School of International Relations, stressed that Ukraine is an integral part of European integration, the single case of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Timoshenko, cannot become an obstacle for association agreement, as well as it should not be a reason for boycotting Kiev by Western countries. This opinion was shared by prof. Jacek Wilczur, who claimed that Ukraine should not be taught by Polish and European politicians how to solve its internal problems and issues.

What should Europe do now? Should we cooperate with our eastern neighbour in order to avoid russian Russian soft and hard powers? The answer for this question should be given on EU summits, and so on, but probably every single european civilian can contribute to this subject. How? Doing business with Ukrainians is not a bad solution, for instance! This is called ‘;micro-cooperation’;. For many of us this seems similar to what we have done 40 and 30 years ago, when communist countries had been braking the iron courtain down. We could help then – we can help now as well.

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