Kyiv Security Forum

Borys Tarasyuk criticizes Brussels for lack of will to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine in full

11 April 2014, 12:13

EUs lack of willingness to sign the whole of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, rather than just its political provisions, is a mistake. Ukraine has a legitimate government and one should give in to Russia’s pressure and propaganda.

MP Borys Tarasyuk, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1998-2000 and 2005-2007, stressed that addressing the 7th Kyiv Security Forum on Friday.

‘I take it as a mistake of the European Union to not have signed all sections of the Association Agreement with PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk, ‘Mr Tarasyuk stated.

The ex-Foreign Minister thinks that there is ‘a degree of hesitation’ vis-à-vis Ukraine. ‘Why was the EU ready to sign the Agreement with the dictator at Vilnius on November 29, and then, suddenly, lacked the political will to sign that same Agreement with the new democratic government of Ukraine,’ Borys Tarasyuk asked.

As unclear was for him the reason why only the political provisions of the Association Agreement have been signed with the new Government of Ukraine. ‘Was the EU anxious not to upset Russia,’ the MP posed another question.

‘Maybe someone inside the EU operates by the same logic as the Russians, thinking that there is no legitimate government in Ukraine and the signing should, therefore, be put off till a new President is elected and there is a legitimate government in Ukraine,’ Mr Tarasyuk has presumed.

He is confident, however, that such is the wrong approach. There is a legitimate parliament in Ukraine, and it has elected a legitimate Government. The institute of the Head of State may indeed be questioned ‘to some extent’; nonetheless, the speaker, whose legitimacy cannot be challenged, acts as the Head of State under the Constitution. ‘So what’s wrong with legitimacy? Nothing,’ he is quite certain.

Against this backdrop the ex-Foreign Minister recalled that the EU response in the aftermath of 2004 Orange Revolution, ‘which created an opportunity for Ukraine to become part of the European family’ was inadequate, and support to Ukraine, insufficient.

‘What if the EU had offered the prospects of membership to Ukraine? Maybe, we would not have had the four years of dictatorship and, in effect, we would not have witnessed the use of force,’ Mr Tarasyuk ventured to assume.


The 2-day agenda of Kyiv Security Forum offers six panels, all open to the media. Any changes to the agenda will be posted on the Forum’s web-site.

Media professionals can make use of the press center with work stations, Wi-Fi access, and live broadcast of all the panels. In addition, there is a special media corner in the conference room.

Organizers are ready to facilitate individual interviews with and comments from the Forum speakers on advance notice.

The annual international event, Kyiv Security Forum, was initiated by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007. It is a platform for debates on the hottest European and Black Sea security issues. The purpose of the Forum is to enhance cooperation in the security sector between the EU and the Black Sea region, raise awareness on security developments among key players, and increasing the role of independent and non-government actors in identifying solutions to security challenges in Europe.

The event is supported by Victor Pinchuk Foundation, NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine and the Chatham House, UK.

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Open Ukraine Foundation is an international charity created on Arseniy Yatseniuk’s initiative for the purpose of strengthening public diplomacy and building up Ukraine’s image globally. The Foundation achieves its goals through implementation of its key programs, e.g.: International Dialogue, Cultural Horizons, Young Leaders. The Foundation brings together a broad range of donors and individuals that care about Ukraine’s image and its future.

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