Thursday

23rd Mar 2017

Ukraine tells Reding to be less 'emotional' on Euro2012

Ukraine's EU ambassador has told justice commissioner Vivianne Reding that she should be less "emotional" in a riposte to her Euro2012 boycott.

The diplomat, Konstiantin Yelisieiev, in a letter dated 2 May - and seen by EUobserver - said her decision is "based rather on emotions surrounding some criminal cases in Ukraine, than on a sober reflection of their legal substance."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • 'If the European External Action Service had ever drafted a full and comprehensive EU strategy toward Russia, they would come running to us to sign this treaty' (Photo: wikipedia)

He noted that her views come lock, stock and barrel from "Ukraine's domestic political opposition" and that things would "appear to [her] in different colours" if she came to Kiev to see "them with [her] own eyes."

Yelisieiev added that Euro2012 should be a "celebration of good will" among ordinary people instead of "making political stands."

"Millions of Ukrainians put their heart into making this celebration happen ... they deserve the highest recognition, not the cold shoulder. Shunning them politically, as you suggested, would be unfair and disproportionate."

Reding last week in an open letter to the European football association, Uefa, said she will not go to games in Ukraine in June and July because of "partial justice" in the case of Yulia Tymoshenko.

Her boycott was the first in a list which now includes two German ministers, Austria, Belgium and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Tymoshenko was jailed last year for signing a cripplingly expensive gas supply contract with Russia while prime minister. She is currently in the 14th day of a hunger strike after an alleged beating by prison guards.

Poland, which is co-hosting Euro2012 with Ukraine, has also criticised the boycotteers.

Its president, Bronislaw Komorowski, said on national TV on Wednesday the move is based on "other calculations" than human rights - an allusion to Polish concerns that Germany is trying to harm EU-Ukraine integration because of its close ties to Russia.

The football snub is a bad omen for prospects of the EU signing a political and trade association treaty with Ukraine early next year.

Amid expectations that even if it is signed, EU countries will not ratify it before 2016, Ukraine is currently preparing legal measures for "provisional application" of the trade chapter.

It sees the treaty as protection of its recently-won sovereignty from Russia - one clause in the political section envisages emergency EU-Ukraine talks if there is a threat to its territorial integrity.

It has long complained that, unlike Poland, EU institutions do not understand the hard realities of post-Cold-War geopolitics. "If the European External Action Service had ever drafted a full and comprehensive EU strategy toward Russia, they would come running to us to sign this treaty," a Ukrainian contact said.

Rape case shames EU-aspirant Ukraine

A horrific assault on a young woman in Ukraine has highlighted the culture of legal nihilism in a country which says it wants to join the European Union.

EU snubs Ukraine, again

EU Council President Van Rompuy - the Union's highest official in protocol terms - has told Ukraine's prime minister he is not welcome in the EU capital.

Analysis

More hype than substance in EU counter-terror plans

The 22 March anniversary of the Brussels bombing will trigger a lot of soul searching. But EU counter-terrorism strategies over the past 10 years have been crisis-driven with little follow through or oversight.

News in Brief

  1. British police make first arrests in London terror probe
  2. EU commission has received Facebook reply on WhatsApp
  3. Rome expects thousands of protesters at summit
  4. Dijsselbloem says his comments had 'Dutch directness'
  5. Ukraine spy agency bars Russian Eurovision singer
  6. Turkish president Erdogan threatens Europeans
  7. Russia invites EU diplomats to occupied Crimea
  8. UK parliament in lockdown after reported attack

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EJCExpresses Concern That Extremists Still Have the Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  3. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  4. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  5. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  7. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  8. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  9. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change
  11. Malta EU 2017Consumer Protection Laws to Be Strengthened by EU-Wide Cooperation
  12. European Free AllianceSupporting Artur Mas: Democracy and Freedom Cannot Be Convicted

Latest News

  1. Poland unlikely to face EU discipline on rule of law
  2. Rutte courted Wilders' voters, now he must deliver
  3. Barnier to UK: trade talks will come after settling accounts
  4. EU declaration to voice unity in troubled times
  5. Terror attack shuts down UK parliament
  6. Catalonia and Scotland at core of Europe's geopolitical conundrum
  7. La présidentielle française sous cyber-alerte maximale
  8. EU doing well in global energy ranking