The Chair of the Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the EU summed
up the year in Ukraine's foreign policy at an online briefing,
organized by the Faculty of History and International Relations of
Uzhhorod National University.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze outlined the key trends in Ukraine's foreign
policy in 2020, assessed the work of those responsible for Ukraine's
position in the world and expressed her vision of what the country's
foreign policy priorities should be.
Among the key problems, the Chair of the Committee considers the lack
of foreign policy understanding by the state leadership, as well as the
fact that in its domestic policy Ukraine continues to violate the
Association Agreement with the EU. “The threat of visa-free travel
revoking for Ukrainians still remains after the disgraceful decision of
the Constitutional Court, even though the Verkhovna Rada partially
restored responsibility for false information in declarations and
restored the responsibility of anti-corruption bodies for evaluating
and verifying declarations”, — Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze said.
The Chairperson of the Committee called the position of the Office of
the President, which precluded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
Ukraine from foreign policy-making, a weakening on the diplomatic
front. As a result, the Foreign Ministry has ceased to be a major
player in determining the country's movement and activity in the
foreign policy arena. According to Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, this can
be clearly seen, in particular, in the negotiation process with the
attempts to achieve peace against the aggression of the Russian
Federation. “This is alarming and upsetting, because the huge and
serious tool of the Foreign Ministry is underused today to protect the
national interests of Ukraine”, — the Chair of the Committee stated.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze considers that the biggest achievement is
that the North Atlantic Council recognized Ukraine as an Enhanced
Opportunities Partner in February this year. “This is a sign that
policy commenced few years is being implemented, and when you take the
measures to ensure the implementation of this policy, then success is
achieved”, — the Chair of the Committee said. At the same time, she
noted that Ukraine does not make sufficient use of the opportunities
provided under this program. Ukraine does not have a clear
understanding of what tools and in which way it would like to use.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze praised the possibility of revising the
Association Agreement with the EU in 2021, in accordance with the
Agreement. At the same time, the Chair of the Committee warned the
Parliament against initiatives, such as the draft law on the so-called
localization, which destroys the system of public procurement in
Ukraine and contradicts our international obligations. “This is one of
the elements that will reduce our chances of a successful revision of
the Association Agreement. Therefore, we must take this into account
and consider foreign policy as a continuation of domestic policy”, —
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze said.
She considers the growing efforts of the state leadership to swallow
the hook offered by Russia — to transfer the Minsk talks from the
format of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia with the
participation of international partners to the format of negotiations
between Ukraine and representatives of the so-called “LPR-DPR” — puppet
regimes of the Kremlin's occupation power in eastern Ukraine — to be a
great threat to Ukraine.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze summed up that the main safeguard that
prevents Ukraine from deviating from the course of European and
Euro-Atlantic integration is the amendments to the Constitution
approved by the Parliament in 2019.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze also formulated priorities for next year.
According to her, the main should be to repel Russian aggression,
involve the widest possible range of international partners in the
negotiation process to put pressure on the Russian Federation, and move
Ukraine to membership in the European Union and NATO.