Farewell Interview: "Ukraine should be one of the most prosperous countries in Europe given its people, potential and resources"
Opinion13:31 Aug. 29, 2016

"Ukraine should be one of the most prosperous countries in Europe given its people, potential and resources"

Outgoing EU Ambassador to Ukraine gives his farewell interview to UT

Head of EU delegation to Ukraine – Ambassador Jan Tombinski having secured the EU Association Agreement for Ukraine gives his farewell interview to UT correspondent Volodymyr Solohub before leaving his office.

"It's not only a privilege but also a huge duty to be a part of historical processes. Comparing with what I remember from my first weeks and months in Ukraine in 2012 and 2013 and comparing with what I see now, I have a sense that a paradigm of how Ukraine operates changed," Tombinski said.

"People first started to behave as citizens, not only as voters or object of different political manipulations, that people consider Ukraine as their own country. They started trusting the country and that they now believe that the country has a future," he added.

Watch also EU Ambassador slams Ukrainian Government

"Several issues have to be completed. Ukraine is a country that is protected by the citizens. In 2013-2014 citizens – not state structures protected the country. Volunteers, all people on the streets – they were protecting their own country. Now the time is also for the state structures to give to the Ukrainian citizens this feeling that in a case of need, people will be protected by state structures."

The Ambassador also added that Ukrainians should expect ‘French touch' in future relations with the EU: "My successor is French, so I'm sure he will add a ‘French touch' to the EU-Ukraine relations."

Read also New EU ambassador to Ukraine will start work in September - Hahn

"Ukraine is in a very fragile situation – Russian aggression, the departure of part of the territory of Ukraine because of the illegal annexation of Crimea and aggression in the east, the destabilisation of state structures – this requires from our side a lot of work and commitment to Ukraine. We should stay committed to Ukraine not only because of this emotional link and emotional attitude created by the Revolution of Dignity, this is a commitment because of principles. We are staying by a sovereign country within its recognised borders, within its recognised sovereignty of territory."

Read also EU Ambassador Tombinski: No progress in settlement of Donbas conflict

"My message to the Ukrainians: trust yourself – you have a fantastic country, you have fantastic people, try to use all the potential of the country. And create all the conditions to use in full the potential of the country. Ukraine should be one of the most prosperous countries of Europe given its size, people, potential, natural resources. So trust yourself and look more strategically in long-term structures, not only in short-term reactions. Create your strategy and try to implement it."

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