EU ambassador to Ukraine: Yanukovych comes short of expectations

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April 13, 2012, 6:24 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Head of European Union Delegation to Ukraine Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira said that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has failed to live up to expectations. In an interview with Korrespondent magazine, the European diplomat said that Yanukovych showed a lot of promise talking about reforms and bringing order to the country through creating a strong government.

"Both Ukraine and the EU believed in him. But, unfortunately, he fell short of expectations," the EU ambassador said.

Teixeira said he hadn't seen any results of the fight against corruption in Ukraine: "When they are evident, I will be the first to mention them. But for the moment the situation is much worse than it was during the so-called chaotic period after the Orange Revolution."

When asked about the effect of the prison sentences for former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko on the EU-Ukraine relations, Teixeira said that "during the rule of the Orange team there was more freedom, more democracy, more confidence."

"In those days, oligarchs supported various political players, so there was more room for pluralism. As for the legal system and reforms, little was done, yet the EU was ready to launch the assistance program," he explained.

In addition, the diplomat said that he spoke to Economic Development and Trade Minister of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko about the EU program of assistance to the reforms in Ukraine worth EUR 500 million. Teixeira said that it was difficult to speak about this program yet. According to him, the European Union was willing to provide EUR 70 million for the administrative reform, but the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill which conflicts with the European standards in this area.

"Upon learning this, I met with Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych to ask him how this happened? He replied that the parliament made laws in Ukraine. Naturally, in every country parliaments pass laws. But the question is whether Ukraine is ready to adopt laws in compliance with the practice of the EU, or it will stick to its line?" the diplomat said.
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