Carl Bildt: Ukraine should clearly define its integration priorities

Carl Bildt: Ukraine should clearly define its integration priorities
15 September 2012

It is very important for Ukraine to define what interstate associations it supposes to integrate into. Otherwise, sooner or later it may find itself in international isolation. This idea was suggested at the session “Ukraine, East, West?” at the 9th Annual Yalta Meeting of YES by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt.

“Unfortunately, I don’t see where Ukraine is going, what its vision, its strategy is,” the Minister said. “Ukraine wants to have relations both with the EU and the Customs Union, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and with other organizations. But if you go everywhere you will be nowhere. Modernization can’t be implemented unless you maintain commitment to some certain strategy or vision.”

The eurozone is in crisis now, however, a sufficiently fast growth of the Eastern European and other countries proves that the European integration model is viable and promising as it is. “There is a formula, no need to reinvent the wheel,” the Minister stressed. “The rest of the world duplicates our practices, our experience. We extend in economic terms. The others extend more as their follow the model that we have developed.”

Ukraine, in Carl Bildt’s opinion, should fit into the European integration model not procrastinating the process. Since “another 100 million people are knocking at our door. The Turkish are knocking very loudly and we should think over how millions of people from the Eastern and Southern Europe would integrate.”

In order to effectively fit into the European model, Ukraine should clearly define priorities – in fact rather than in word – and rebrand the country through its actions. “You should have a clear vision of where you want to go. The brand image of Ukraine in the world has tainted in the recent years. It’s a pity. And you are to pay high price for that,” Carl Bildt emphasized.

The 9th Yalta Annual Meeting is streamed live on korrespondent.net in Ukrainian and on euronews.com and yes-ukraine.org in English.

The official Twitter of the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting: @yes_ukraine

Hash tag: #yalta2012

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Christopher Pincher
Christopher Pincher
Minister of State for Europe, United Kingdom, 16th YES Annual Meeting, 2019
«Russia’s attempt to play the strongman and imprison Ukraine in its supposed ‘sphere of influence’ harks back to a very unhappy and dark age that we all thought had been consigned to the history books.»