Ukraine Is Not Headed Toward Europe

KIEV, Ukraine -- In a Sept. 23 interview, "Kiev leader seeks to join EU," Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych again illustrated that the policy goals he presents abroad bear little relation to what is actually going on inside his country.

Viktor Yanukovych on his visit to Brussels.

For example, he talks about "moving steadfastly along the road of European integration."

Yet integration cannot be achieved when democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights are being threatened as a consequence of authoritarian actions sanctioned by his administration.

Just this month the EU issued a statement on the freedom of Ukraine's press, expressing its "deep concern over the disappearance of the Ukrainian journalist Vasil Klymentyev in August."

The statement said, "the EU also expresses its concerns at recent reports of violence and harassment against media professionals in Ukraine."

That statement followed a strongly worded resolution from Europe's largest political party, the European People's Party (EPP), which said it was "deeply concerned by the current situation with the democratic development in Ukraine."

The EPP cited Kiev's curtailment of media freedoms; selective use of the criminal justice system that appears to persecute allies of the political opposition; and the use of the Security Service that it said "appears to go beyond the normal functions exercised by such agencies in democratic states governed by the rule of law."

It also condemned state interference in the main opposition party's internal affairs. As regards a new law governing nationwide local elections due on Oct. 31, the EPP said that it "falls short of democratic standards."

It is time for Mr. Yanukovych to match his public rhetoric with action.

To borrow a quote from EPP President Wilfried Martens: "Democratic freedoms are not safeguarded by public relations visits to European capitals by government leaders; they are safeguarded by sincere and tangible commitments to Ukrainian society."

Without this, Ukraine's aspiration to join the European Union will remain a pipe dream.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Comments

wesley rodgers said…
TIME FOR UKRAINE REALITY CHECK

BY UKRAINE GOVERNMENT AND YKRAINE

PEOPLE!
___________________________________

The time has finally come for not
only the Ukraine administration of President Yanukovich but also Ukraine people.

We heard the speaches and have seen many major changes soon after
President Yanukovich took office and yes having strong and healthy relations is good for
Ukraine as a country and its people both culturally for for economic reasons.
But it is time for a real reality check.
Many had criticized the Yuschenko government in its victory in the ORANGE REVOLUTION but have people forgotten what the ORANGE REVOLUTION was about.

ABOUT CHANGE--MOVING FORWARD--NOT BACKWARD-STRONGER RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA HOPEFULLY but also the rest of Europe.

That is just the way the world is logistically and culturally structured. Europe is so diversified many countries need desperately to be workinbg better with one another.

And.let us not forget that Ukraine was the lead nation,so to speak,in breaking away from the old
Soviert Union---RUSSIA!!

A great country but look at Russia and ask--" Has Russia changed??"..Yes ofcourse it has and it is working with many countries around the world so maybe government officials in Ukraine should get real and think.
After almost nineteen years of freedom and breaking away and setting new and preogressive
cultural and media policies of expression going backwards was not a smart choice.

People can say all they want about YUSCHENKO and even Tymoshenko but the REALITY is very basic, the Ukraine people and their spirit was high and there was a lot of energy and other countries--not all were open mined to Ukraine being part of Europe and it helped for the balance of power betwen East and West.

Yuschenko did NOT suppress media expression or freedom of expression and in fact he was very good at letting it alone to grow and consequently has one of the best inoformed media networks and print media in Europe.

Ukraine people now should stand up and say we don't mind working with Russia but also other Euroepan nations and organizations otherwise it will become ISDOLATED again and Europe in total will not work with UKRAINE.
President Yanukovich has done some good things for Ukraine but curbing media expression and freeedom of speach and demonstrations is trying to control society and that approach with Ukraine people who have been free for almost two decades eventually will not live with such restrictions anymore.

Here in the U.S. the president here has tried to curb some developments in the media and it will not last loong.
FDreedom of expression and freedom of media is one of the most primal elements of a TRUE-GENUINE and free society.
Going backwards is not going forwads and some of the by products and results of the ORANGE REVOLUTION were working and moving forward not as quickly as hoped but progress was being made.

After all a true DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM OF,BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE AFTER does not come quickly especially after almosta century of communist rule.
REALITY dicctates that Ukraine people think.keep expressing themselves and some members of the European Union need to realize they need Ukraine and its products,workforce and also its military integrity also.
UKRAINE IS A STRONG AND VIBRANT NATION.!!!

MR. PRESIDENT let Ukraine people grow and let freedom of expression prevail and then your government also will concurently with Ukraine people who were generous enough to place you in office in one of the greatest nations in the world.
Power to the people of Ukraine and
peace and happiness also.
Fellow Ukranian immigrants here in the U.S. and world are watching!!
Wes Rodgers
PATRIOTSTV.COM
THE PHILADELPHIA BULLETIN
west-patriot@msn.com