Ukrane's deputy PM for European integration speaks about France's resolution to soften Russia sanctions, Ukraine-E.U. visa liberalisation
Since the events of the Maidan Revolution Ukraine has declared its course for European integration. Kyiv has said it is paying "a huge price" for its choice as Ukraine's Crimea and Donbas have been occupied by Russia. In its battle against Moscow, Kyiv heavily relies on the cooperation with the West – and the economic sanctions Europe has imposed against Russia.
However, after two years of no progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, aimed to solve the Donbas conflict, opposition to the sanctions in Europe grows stronger every day. Amid comments from Germany on the "gradual lifting the restrictions" even before Russia abides by Minsk, French Senate has also called for softening the sanctions. These statements could go unnoticed by Ukrainian officials and triggered harsh criticism.
"Our colleagues from France have forgotten that it was the mild position of the E.U. back in 2008, when Russia aggressively attacked Georgia, their indecisiveness and their hesitation to take a proper action has led to what we see today in Ukraine," Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euroatlantic Integration said in an interview with Ukraine Today.
The resolution, adopted by the French senate and called "irresponsible" by the deputy, arrived amid Ukraine's struggling attempts to get closer to the E.U. In the last two years Kyiv reached several key deals on cooperation with Brussels. First it was the Association agreement, which was the main demand of the Maidan protesters back in 2013. The latest one is the visa liberalisation. However, the implementation of both of these deals haven't been exactly smooth.
Association agreement is currently being stalled by the negative result of the Dutch referendum, and the approval of the visa-free regime has been bumpy as well as media report it's been pushed back to September.
"The decision on Georgia has been postponed, but I'm assuming there are no such concerns with regards to Ukraine. We're hoping it will happen this summer, but we understand some countries want to come up with a suspension mechanism due to the migrants and terrorism, which are not connected in any way to Ukraine," Klympush-Tsintsadze stated.
Want to learn more about Ukraine's cooperation with the E.U. and NATO? Watch the interview on Ukraine Today.