14 December, Thursday


Ukraine and Turkey become friends? - EXCLUSIVE

Specialist view

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Interview of Eurasia Diary with political analyst, project manager at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Ukraine Vladimir Oliynyk.
 
How do you assess the outcome of the meeting between President Poroshenko and Turkish President Erdogan? What are the key points?
 
- It would be a mistake to consider the last meeting between Erdogan and Poroshenko as an insignificant fact, especially in the context of the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey. In addition, Erdogan with President Poroshenko took part in the sixth meeting of the Strategic Council of the two high-level countries. Negotiations of both presidents were held face to face, instead of the planned 45 minutes, lasted three hours. Erdogan also met with other Ukrainian officials - Prime Minister Groisman, Chairman of Parliament of Ukraine Parubiy and traditionally with the Crimean Tatars leader M. Djemilev. A number of important bilateral documents were signed. Poroshenko noted that over the past six months, trade between the two countries has grown by 20%.
 
Erdogan expressed his support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, stressed that Turkey will never recognize the annexation of the Crimea. Of course, you can joke about Erdogan's drowsiness at a joint news conference with Poroshenko, but the real results of the visit of the Turkish president are much more important.
 
The statements of the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Siyarto, made at a meeting of representatives of the Hungarian diasporas in Uzhgorod, haven’t gone unnoticed. As he noted, the new law on education contradicts with the principles of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. Is it likely that Hungary will block the possibility of Ukraine joining the European Union.
 
Theoretically it would happen. In practice, it is difficult to block what is not expected in the near future. On this moment Ukraine achieved maximum on its. At the moment, Ukraine has reached the maximum possible rapprochement with the EU. There is no question on the country's membership in the EU in the foreseeable future. Thus, in the next 10-15 years Ukraine will not be ready for further rapprochement. And whether the current regime remains in power in Hungary after this time is a very complicated issue. It's like in the parable of Khoja Nasreddin, the emir and his donkey.
 
It’s obvious that Hungarian officials uncompromising stands on the verge of rudeness, suspiciously similar to the manner of the Kremlin leader, is caused by the elections in Hungary next year and the desire to attract Ukrainian Hungarians, most of whom, including Hungarian citizens, can take part in these elections. Ukraine is very well aware of this state of affairs, and the main problem of its leadership is not to break into harsh retaliatory measures. 
 
In the light of the 20th anniversary of the creation of GUAM, a special meeting of the GUAM foreign ministers was held on October 8 in Tbilisi. Following the meeting, the foreign ministers of the four countries signed a joint communiqué in which they confirmed the unanimous desire to continue close cooperation. How do you assess the prospects of this cooperation of the member countries for the future? Do you consider Moldova a passive member of the organization and the so-called "weak link" of GUAM?
 
Ukraine is not considering GUAM as real actor, an influential factor of politics, even on a regional scale. Of course, it would be a pity to lose this organization, because theoretically it could be very useful. But it seems to me that in the conditions of a raging bully in the face of the Russian Federation, the effect of GUAM is close to zero in view of the fact that at least two of its members - Georgia and Azerbaijan - are very sensitive to the position of their northern neighbor which is not excited with GUAM.
 
Moldova is divided by an internal conflict between the government and the presidential position in relation to the Russian Federation. That's why Ukraine considers GUAM potentially profitable - "its own child - and interested not to give it a chance to die. It can come in handy in the future, as countries are natural allies and partners. Well, how not to celebrate such a round date?
 

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