Ukraine pushes Polish and Czechs to ratify EU treaty

16:43, 04 July 2008
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Ukraine’s vice prime minister has encouraged...

Ukraine’s vice prime minister has encouraged both Poland and the Czech Republic to ratify the Lisbon treaty, according to

Speaking to on Thursday, Hryhoriy Nemyria said, "We truly believe that there is life beyond the Lisbon treaty.

"We encourage those countries to exercise their duty and responsibility to continue to ratify the Lisbon treaty. I especially have in mind the presidents of Poland and the Czech Republic."

Nemyria, who has responsibility for European affairs, also said that he didn’t think the Irish vote against the Lisbon treaty was a vote against enlargement, but stressed that the ‘reflection time’ given to Ireland after the no vote should not take away from Ukraine’s progress towards EU integration.

"We support those MEPs who think that Irish reflection time should not be deducted from Ukrainian integration.

"There were a number of doomsday scenarios on previous enlargements and every time the EU was creative enough to find a way out and to continue."

Ukraine is currently in talks with the EU on a new “enhanced” agreement to take over from a 2005 pact under the EU’s neighbourhood policy. A major part of the new agreement will be a free trade area, which goes side by side with requirements on economic and sectoral cooperation.

A thorny issue for Ukraine is whether or not they will be granted a “membership perspective” in the new agreement. The official line is that no watered down versions of membership will do, so while welcoming the recent Polish-Swedish idea for an ‘eastern partnership’ Nemyria says that it should not be used as a substitute for the real thing.

He says Ukraine will stay firm on this position in the upcoming summit with the EU in September. “Evian is going to be a very important and successful summit. We have to underline a very important position that any organisational devices should not be confused with substantive solutions.”

And commenting on the start of talks on a new EU-Russia agreement, he said, “We can’t but support this process because a European solution works in Ukraine and shall work in Russia.

“I do believe Russia to have a European vocation.”

Nemyria was in Brussels for a World Bank conference, but also met with EU trade chief Peter Mandelson, foreign policy head Javier Solana and external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.


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