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Debate with Yuri Lutsenko
France - 30/09/2013
Former Ukrainian Interior Minister and opposition leader, Yuri Lutsenko took part in a breakfast on 27th September 2013 at the Robert Schuman Foundation. At the heart of discussions was the Ukrainian political situation, the possible signature of an association agreement with the EU and the impact of the latter on the country's domestic political situation. Yuri Lutsenko also spoke of the conditions of detention of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the difficulties linked to her liberation before the signature of the association agreement. Finally Mr Lutsenko addressed the issue of relations with Russia, its ability to influence Ukraine from a political and economic point of view and the possible consequences if Ukraine drew closer to the EU.


On 27th September former Ukrainian Interior Minister and one of the country's opposition leaders, Yuri Lutsenko took part in a breakfast debate at the Robert Schuman Foundation.

The focus of discussions was the Ukrainian political situation, the possible signature of an association agreement with the European Union and the impact that this might have on the country's domestic political situation. The former minister stressed that in spite of its "retro-totalitarian" trends, for the time being the Yanukovich government was the only one to be able to guarantee a calm transition towards the European Union. The association agreement with the European Union would also have other effects on the country meaning a radical change to the legislative system from a democratic point of view which may lead to a change in government.

The former minister also spoke of the of the conditions of detention of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the problems linked to her liberation before the signature of the association agreement. Finally Mr Lutsenko addressed the issue of relations with Russia, which has several ways of influencing political and economic life in Ukraine. Indeed Moscow has religious influence thanks to the role played by the Patriarch Cyril who supports the Kremlin's political demands. It can also revive separatist movements in the Crimea by supporting Russian nationalists. It also has a military base in Sebastopol. The Kremlin could cause a schism within the "Party of Regions" in a bid to interrupt the "pragmatic dialogue" that Yanukovich has established with the European Union. Finally from an economic point of view there is still the problem of gas and Ukrainian exports to Russia. On this point Mr Lutsenko was more optimistic stressing that Russia adopted the same attitude towards Poland and the Baltic countries when they drew closer to NATO and the EU but Russian retaliation would not be enough to cancel out the advantages of the association agreement.



de gauche à droite : Philippe de Suremain, Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Pierre Fauchon, Nathalie Pasternac


Andry Shkil, interprète, Yuriy Lutsenko, Piotr Smolar