PN Member Evengeni Kirilov Comments on EU and Russian Interest

Bulgarian MEP with the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, PN Member Evgeni Kirilov, comments on Ukraine government’s decision last week to scrap a strategic EU treaty, in an interview with FOCUS News Agency.

FOCUS: Mr Kirilov, what is the response of the European institutions on Ukraine’s decision to reject the treaty with the EU?

Evgeni Kirilov: Of course, there is certain disappointment but I think that the European Union (EU) is calm about it because in the end the decision on one or another agreement or treaty is a sovereign right of every single country, which should judge on its own whether it meets its national interests.
Of course, there is some discontent in the official statements and it is about the fact that there was certain, or probably strong pressure on behalf of Russia. 
However, we should approach the issue calmly because it should not turn into some big conflict. Both the EU and Russia are interested in having a stable Ukraine, while the country is facing certain difficulties at the moment. It is obvious that these difficulties are affecting country’s politics, as well as the political decisions. 

FOCUS: What does Ukraine lose by rejecting the treaty? 

Evgeni Kirilov: It is not about some miracle, which will happen in just a few days but rather a long-term partnership connected with the realisation of the country, the realisation of the economic ties, while this is an end to a big and solid economy. We should bear in mind that economically speaking it is seriously connected with Russia. Since there is a risk of violating the balance in its cooperation and trade with Russia, it is normal for Ukraine to be worried about it. 
At this stage, my personal impression is that the decision is rather postponed. They have not turned their back, there is no turn, and we should examine the entire situation calmly. Of course, this development is not pleasant for many European politicians but we should keep calm. 

Russia itself is a strategic partner of the EU. It should be both to Russia and EU’s interest to have a stable country between them. Speaking for the future, there could be an agreement with Russia, too, which also sets perspectives for development of the economic relations.
It is obvious that Russia is more envious about this process. The dialogue should definitely continue with both Ukraine and Russia. 
It is very difficult to draw big conclusions but I think that there is a need to be patient and respect the sovereign right of every country to make decisions concerning its future on its own. 
We will see how things will develop in the future. 

FOCUS: Were there any hints about what will happen during the talks with Ukraine so far? 

Evgeni Kirilov: Yes, there were some indications. Of course, there are already certain troubles in the terms of the export. Ukraine finds itself in a difficult macro-financial situation, it was supposed to receive a long-term loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 
We should examine and look at the whole picture so as to see how things will progress. 
Anyway, I am convinced that the EU will not close the door for Ukraine. 

FOCUS: What is your commentary on the programme of the Eastern Partnership? 

Evgeni Kirilov: The programme addresses all six countries but it not one and the same for each one of them. It is influenced by what each country wants to achieve. 
Every country has its own interests and both the EC and the EP conform to these interests. 
The basic principle is “more for more”. Some countries develop faster, while others are not rushing. There is a need to show understanding of each one of them.
The goals of the EU aim at stable neighbourly relations, peace, understanding and strengthened economic cooperation, which is to everyone’s interest. 
And I am convinced that this is also to Russia’s long-term interest.

PN Member Evgeni Kirilov MEP is a member on the Committee on Regional Development Subcommittee on Security and Defence Delegation to the EU-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee and a member on the Committee of Foreign Affairs. 


Originally published by FOCUS Information Agency.

Photo by the President of the European Council.