Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Ukraine

Delivered in Plenary - 20th October 2010

Mr President

Ukraine is our major European democratic associative partner and I too hope that one day it will become a member of the European Union. Like many speakers, I have some doubts as to the appropriateness of an EP resolution shortly before their local elections, and my group, the ECR Group, has submitted a number of amendments to make the resolution more balanced and less repetitive.

Yanukovych won the election to become President democratically, albeit by a small margin. There are indeed some worrying authoritarian trends in Kiev, from attempts to re-establish the temniki censorship of press freedom to the use of the SBU security service, led by an oligarch for political purposes. However, the West is watching the process closely. President Yanukovych is now under pressure. The legacy of the Orange Revolution is still strong and the Ukrainian civil society that emerged from it very robust.

Everyone knows that I have close relations with the opposition’s leading figures, but I too think we should avoid too much interference in Ukrainian internal domestic and political affairs which may well backfire on this Parliament and we should give the we should give the new government the benefit of the doubt for the time being.