THE TRUSTWORTHINESS of the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych suffered after it turned out he lied to the European Union (EU) when he claimed he wanted to sign the association agreements and then suddenly changed his mind, said Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák on the public-service RTVS televised debate Janaury 26.

“He was using unreal arguments, such as that Ukraine will lose €160 billion by signing the treaties,” Lajčák said as quoted by TASR.

“Yanukovych lied to his own citizens and a whole lot of leaders who communicated with him in good faith,” Lajčák said.

He admitted Yanukovych does not represent all of Ukraine, but said that nor does the opposition.

“We need to communicate with those who represent political reality, and that is President Yanukovych and opposition leaders,” Lajčák said.

The head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, opposition MP František Šebej, is convinced that the EU has tools that can be targeted on individual people. He finds it unnecessary to punish the whole country with economic sanctions, but would prefer punishing people who are responsible for the biggest mishaps by banning them from travelling to the EU or freezing their accounts, TASR wrote.

“The EU was too fast in its willingness to sign the association agreements,” Šebej said as quoted by TASR. “As if Yulia Tymoshenko in prison was the only problem, but it is not so. The Yanukovych regime is incompatible with what the EU represents. I am asking whether Ukraine is ready. Even if the Yanukovych regime fell, a certain hesitation would be in place.”

Lajčák disagreed, saying that EU will have more influence if the association agreements are signed.

“After signing them we would be the main player,” Lajčák said.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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