Ukrainian Experts Share Criticism Of Ukraine Reflected In European Report

KIEV, Ukraine -- A number of Ukrainian experts completely agree with the criticism expressed in the report of the European Commission on the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy in Ukraine for 2011.

Oleh Rybachuk

"The opinion of the leading experts, who have dealt directly with the Ukrainian-EU relations, practically coincide with the assessment of the European Union," coordinator of the platform Oleh Rybachuk said at a press conference hosted by Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

According to him, such reports are important evidence about how the European Union estimates the process of reform in Ukraine - they reflect the level and stage of the Ukraine's integration and also take the temperature of Ukrainian-EU relations, to some extent.

At the same time, the coordinator noted that the assessment of the reforms dealing with democracy is a main criterion for the EU on how sincerely the country, which aspires to gain EU membership, actually desires it.

According to him, authorities said that Association Agreement, Free Trade Area were more necessary for the EU, because the Ukrainian market is very attractive to the EU.

"Everything reflected in the report shows contradictory values," he said adding that such issues as fair and free elections, respect of human rights, freedom of peaceful meetings, mass media freedom, justice independence, fighting corruption are important for the EU.

In turn, Chairman of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Arkadiy Buschenko declared: "We have more radical views on the situation with human rights, more critical. I understand that diplomatic language does not allow [me] to express everything openly. But people with intellect must see the possible unfavorable consequences for the country behind those very moderate conclusions."

According to him, in recent years the situation with the human rights has worsened in Ukraine.

He stressed that the country still has a problem with judicial system and also added: "These prosecutions [notorious criminal cases against members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Yulia Tymoshenko] allowed us to look at this very attentively. Maybe it will become a definite step forward, as now politicians are treating such problems as criminal judicial implementation, and the conditions and regime of custody very seriously."

Talking about corruption, an expert from the Ukrainian Institute for Public Policy, Ivan Presniakov said the only successes were on paper.

"In truth, everything that happened in 2011 was done for show, and on paper, in terms of the fight against corruption. Everything that was done was just the [production of] documents, which were drafted a long time up, but there was no real action, no real change."

In the report of the European Commission on the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy in Ukraine, which was presented on May 15, EU highlighted the slow pace of the implementation of economic reforms, the worsening situation with democracy in Ukraine in 2011, and the absence of significant results in fighting corruption.

Source: Interfax-Ukraine