Over the last 5 years, Ukraine has made little progress in the rapprochement with the European Union (EU), President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek states. He stated this in an interview with Deutsche Welle, intending to visit Ukraine soon, on the eve of the presidential election to meet with political leaders.
"I recently met with the head of the Verkhovna Rada Lytvyn and President Yushchenko. We talked about how not to close the European Union for its eastern neighbors. But a lot depends on future elections in Ukraine: they must be transparent, fair and honest," - said Jerzy Buzek.
"It is also important that Ukrainian leaders have reached a common understanding and unity in the most important cases, especially those that relate to a rapprochement with the European Union", - he added.
Answering the question what the new President of Ukraine must do towards European integration, the President of European Parliament said: "It is very important to not experience difficulties with gas supplies in winter. This is a very serious message about the ability to negotiate."
"I understand that it depends not only on the Ukrainian side. But if the Ukrainians did everything possible to ensure stability of supply, it would be a great help. Moreover, the EU wants to help with investments in Ukraine's gas pipeline system" -- he added.
"The second very important thing is the development of cooperation within Euronest - a network of interparliamentary cooperation in Europe. It is also important to cooperate within a framework of the Eastern Partnership. The European Union pays particular attention to their immediate and strategic partners. We want to build such the strategic relationship with Ukraine", -- Ukrainskaya Pravda cites Jerzy Buzek as saying.
Answering the question whether entry into force of the Lisbon agreement, which makes the EU more integral system, will impact on the future of Ukraine's membership in the EU, he said: "The doors of the European Union are open. But the realization of criteria for entry is a very difficult (process – editor.). Today the attention of the European Union is focused on the Western Balkans. Countries in this region are well advanced in fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria”.
"If to speak about Ukraine, it must be admitted: for the last 5 years no significant progress has been reached. I say this with great disappointment and grief. We hoped for much greater progress in Ukraine’s approaching to the grounds the European Union is based on. It is difficult even to talk about some kind of closer cooperation without this compatibility, "- said President of the European Parliament.
He also agreed that the name of the next President of Ukraine will affect the approximation with the EU: "Personality of the President always plays a certain role in such cases. But the more important thing is the position of ordinary Ukrainians - civil society, non-governmental organizations. Ukrainians should be more open to the West."
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