Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tymoshenko in Sweden

PM Tymoshenko visited Sweden several days ago and gave an interview to the 'Dagens Nyheter' newspaper.

I've pushed it through a translation package - here is most of it:

We want to be part of a European security structure, but since only a minority of Ukrainians want to join NATO membership of the defense alliance is not relevant, the Ukrainian government chief Mrs Yulia Timoshenko told DN. However she hopes on an association agreement with EU as early as next autumn.

Ukraine's Prime Minister, Mrs Yulia Timoshenko is to visit Sweden - her first - the middle of an extremely difficult period at home. Right now shaken Ukraine of perhaps the worst political and economic crisis in the young country's history. The visit would have taken place in May but was postponed because of the permanent political internal strife that seems to be the Slavic nation's fate.

That she has arrived in Stockholm despite turmoil at home due mainly to Sweden occupies the presidency of the EU in the second half of 2009. The hope is that Sweden may steer the Ukraine to an association agreement with EU.

- It's almost like pure vacation to come to this clean and orderly country, she says with a smile just before attending a meeting with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The night before, she had been to dinner with Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Swedish business executives. The latter are important, she stresses, given that Sweden is one of the biggest investors in Ukraine, and welcome even more.

All political forces in Ukraine agree on the approach to the European Union.

"The 'Eastern partnership', which was initiated by Sweden gives us a way into the EU. Next autumn, we expect a new association agreement, with a free trade zone. And a door open for a future Ukrainian membership in the European Union."

If the majority of Ukrainians want to enter the EU, the situation is reverse in the more iconic the NATO issue. On this point also marks the Mrs Yulia Timoshenko clearly cooler attitude than President Viktor Yushchenko, who urgently want to get Ukraine into NATO.

"Today is not more than 22-25 percent of the population supports NATO membership. Naturally, Ukraine can not stand alone, we must have been part of some form of collective security. But the most valuable for Ukraine is to preserve the unity of the country, and the NATO issue is a divisive factor. Therefore, all our parties agreed that a referendum must precede a possible entry into NATO."

The relationship with Russia is the constant question of Ukrainian politicians. Mrs Yulia Timoshenko was recently in Moscow and met Vladimir Putin, and accused ago to play under the covers with Moscow. But at the DN's question if she believes that Russia is seriously accept that Ukraine is independent she responds to Moscow lately has understood the need to have equal relationships.

"Russia is a powerful country, so they may have been difficult to reconcile with the former Soviet republics became independent states."

November 22 falls four anniversary of the "orange" revolution, led by Mrs Yulia Timoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko. Since then, the two revolutionary heroes relations turn sour, and twice their coalition has been broken. She admits that it is rooted in political ambition and competition.

"Our party wants to re-create the coalition. But we have a political system that we continually find ourselves in an election campaign. Options each year prevents politicians from agreeing. That Yushchenko and I have been dismantled safely depends on next year's presidential election. He sees me, unfortunately, more as a competitor than as a partner."

1 comment:

Blair Sheridan said...

Overall, not a bad translation, esp. for the machine type. How she and Yushchenko have been "dismantled," however, was funny!