Kiev ‘looks to’ Turkey’s EU process as model

Kiev ‘looks to’ Turkey’s EU process as model

İrem KÖKER KIEV / Hürriyet
Kiev ‘looks to’ Turkey’s EU process as model

‘The EU is the only viable anchor,’ Kiev’s former Istanbul consul has said. HÜRRİYET photo, Levent KULU

Turkey’s European Union accession process is a progression that Ukrainians are now taking as a model amid the country’s tumult, Kiev’s former consul in Istanbul has said.

Turkey is “a big success story,” Bohdan Yeremenko said, praising Ankara’s efforts to integrate with the EU “up to 2013.”

“Now [these efforts have been] cut, but Turkey is still benefiting from this. The government opened up the government to the people and increased transparency. We don’t have that in Ukraine,” he told daily Hürriyet.

Yeremenko, who was recalled to Kiev by the Yanukovych administration in early December 2013 due to Facebook messages made in support of anti-government protesters, has remained in the ranks of the Maidan activists. As President Viktor Yanukovych remains on the run, there are rumors that Yeremenko could be appointed as an ambassador to Ankara by the interim government.

Emphasizing that he wanted to focus on charity work and a think-tank project called “Maidan Foreign Affairs” that would function as “an alternative for foreign policy, Yeremenko said his main concern was his country’s future.

According to the former diplomat, the EU is the only viable anchor for Ukraine. “We need to find partners, whether with Russia or with the EU. They all demand something. Russians demand things that they benefit from, but the West demands things that we benefit from. There is no real alternative. It is the EU,” he said.

Yeremenko said he believed that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is now back in politics after her release from prison over the weekend, could run in elections in May.