Today 14 April druing the sitting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Lytvyn’s Bloc, Sergiy Grynevetskyy stated Ukraine was at risk of turning out to be out of the EU Danube Strategy, Context-Prichernomorie correspondent reports.
“Today the principles of Ukraine’s foreign policy are being reviewed. And I am convinced, the main task of this process is to return our state the role of an active geo-political player. The last five years might be characterized as the years of losses and defeats practically in all directions. As the country’s authorities have already stated, European integration remains among the priorities of the foreign policy. Consequently we are to use all the range of programmes the European Union is offering us, including interregional cooperation programmes.
The EU has been paying more and more attention to the Danube area lately, which is the link between Central and South-Eastern Europe, between the EU countries and the countries claiming membership in it. The example of it is the EU Danube Strategy developed by the EU and covering 14 countries – from Germany to Ukraine. It is oriented at strengthening security in the area, environmental protection, provision of long-term economic development and development and support of European values.
I believe Ukraine, as the state having three ports on the Danube, Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company, and the Bystroye Channel must make sure its interests are taken into account while the stated document is developed”, Mr Grynevetskyy said.
“Ukrainian Danube area has strategic meaning for our state. Ignoring this fact by the former leaders of the country led to significant loss of our positions. The Danube Complex Development Programme is not being carried out, Ukrainian fleet is not being upgraded, and the issue with building the motorway Odesa-Reni is being not settled down. Suchlike mistakes are especial noticeable in the background of our neighbours’ success, Moldova and Romania, who are developing their own production facilities”, the politician stressed.
“The fact that the EU is planning to spend EUR 100 million assigned from the European Policy Budget on the implementation of the strategy in the Danube area is to evidence its importance. At the same time Ukraine has not created an effective mechanism of providing international technical aid, using the capacities of international loan organizations to be able to finance joint projects. Unlike us, our neighbours made a real source of development out of it.
So I would like to draw the attention of my colleagues, of the proper ministries and offices to be participating more actively both in the EU Danube Strategy and in the work of various European institutions operating in this region”, he summarized.