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April 09, 2014 21:52

Authors of concept of Ukraine's association with EU underestimated Ukrainian problems - Chizhov

BRUSSELS. April 9 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian crisis is caused by two factors - internal and foreign, Russian ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov believes.

"Unfortunately, during the relatively short history of Ukrainian independence - 23 years - the Ukrainian people did not have leaders that it deserved. Actually all four presidents that were in power one after the other had their mistakes and shortcomings," he said during hearings in the European parliament on Wednesday.

As for the foreign factor, in this particular case it was the result of mistaken policy by the European Union, Chizhov said.

Those who thought up the concept of Eastern Partnership and the concept of the association agreements that were drafted for some but not all countries of the program in the first place underestimated the depth of the problems facing Ukraine, Chizhov said.

Secondly, they did not take into account the existence of quite serious differences between different regions of the country, between various political forces. Therefore the attempt to involve Ukraine in the process of association with the European Union ignoring these differences, without any concrete promises of EU membership led to a split in Ukrainian society the effects of which we witness today, the Russian diplomat said.

"We have heard from our partners in the European Union many times an essentially correct thesis about the need to guarantee the right of choice to the Ukrainian people. One cannot help agreeing with that, of course. However, in the eyes of our colleagues from European structures this right actually amounted to the fact that there can be a correct choice in favor of European integration and wrong in favor of cooperation with Russia," the diplomat said.

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(Our editorial staff can be reached at eng.editors@interfax.ru)

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