Ukraine expects official explanations from EU on Juncker’s statement
Ukraine’s Representative to the European Union Ambassador Mykola Tochytskiy has expressed his concern to the European Commission in connection with the statements by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker addressing Ukraine, which were used by Russian media to discredit Ukraine on the eve of the entry into force of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, an UNIAN correspondent in Brussels reports.
Tochytskyi commented to the UNIAN correspondent on Juncker's earlier statement claiming that President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko allegedly said that Ukraine is already in the EU and NATO. In particular, the EC president said: "I saw that my friend [Ukrainian President] Mr. Poroshenko a few days ago did say: 'Here is Ukraine, it is the European Union, and it is NATO. But for the moment it is neither one nor the other. And I think we do need to bear that in mind."
The Ukrainian envoy said that these words had not escaped attention of the country’s leadership and Ukraine’s Delegation to the European Union.
"I formally addressed the European Commission to receive explanations about the recent statements by President Jean-Claude Juncker during the annual conference of ambassadors in Brussels. I also drew attention to the actual words of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, who, speaking on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence, noted the invariability of Ukraine's strategic course toward integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. I expressed concern to my colleagues in the European Commission because the words of the EC President were widely used by Russian media primarily for propaganda purposes, in order to discredit Ukraine and our European integration path," said Tochytskyi.
Read alsoPoroshenko: Ukraine to become success story, join EUThe Ambassador opined that such statements voiced on the eve of the entry into force of the Association Agreement "undermine both the level of our trust and our serious level of cooperation."
At the same time, the Ukrainian diplomat stated that the European Union indeed provides "large-scale political and financial support to counter Russian aggression and notes the reforms that Ukraine is implementing."
"We must wait for official explanations but we did express our concern," said Tochytskyi.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 29 at the conference of the EU ambassadors, Juncker reminded that Ukraine was not a member of the European Union and NATO as of today.
Read alsoMarshall Plan for Ukraine provides for EUR 5 bln annual support from EU – Kubiv"At the moment we've got 60 wars ongoing in the world, 60 – and none in Europe if I disregard Ukraine, which is not 'European' in the sense of the European Union. I saw that my friend [Ukrainian President] Mr. Poroshenko a few days ago did say: 'Here is Ukraine, it is the European Union, and it is NATO. But for the moment it is neither one nor the other. And I think we do need to bear that in mind," Juncker said.
Addressing his nation at a military parade on August 24 on the 26th Ukrainian Independence anniversary, Poroshenko said that Ukraine has one road – a "wide Euro-Atlantic highway" that leads to membership in the European Union and NATO. "At the 26th year of independence, we successfully accomplished the struggle for the ratification of the Association Agreement with the European Union. To block this process, Moscow exerted even more efforts than it once did to disrupt the signing of the treaty itself. On September 1, the Agreement comes into force and becomes for us a "road map" for reforms. And we have one road - a wide Euro-Atlantic highway, leading to membership in the European Union and NATO," the head of state said.
Shortly after, Poroshenko said during celebrations on the 50th anniversary of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) in Kyiv on August 26 that Ukraine would meet the criteria necessary for membership in the European Union and NATO. "I am sure that in future we can count on the same kind of coordination and interaction on the part of the UWC regarding the efforts of our state to protect its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence, to implement our ambitious European and Euro-Atlantic goals, since some politicians inside and outside the country also fail to believe that we will see both prospects for EU and NATO membership," he said.