EU Ambassador to Ukraine Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira has said that during his diplomatic work in the country he has never had a personal meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
I have never met with Yanukovych. I was present at meetings with him during his visits to Brussels and during the visit of President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso to Kyiv. As a rule, the president holds meetings with EU leaders tete-a-tete, so I never had a personal meeting with Yanukovych,” the diplomat said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
“According to him, the situation in other countries involved in the process of European integration is different.
“I was in one of these countries, and I even was given the mobile phone number of the prime minister and the president of that country, I talked to them almost every day,” the diplomat said.
The ambassador expressed doubt that any of the foreign diplomats accredited in Ukraine “has easy access to the president of Ukraine, or at least occasionally has an opportunity to meet with him.”
“I don’t want to say that such access to the president is necessary for the process of European integration and that it’s essential. After all, we can communicate with other government officials. It’s important though that the country’s leadership should be committed to the process of European integration, should understand and know what it means, listen to the advice of the EU, as well as to the opinions of their advisers who know this area,” Teixeira concluded.