BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The attendees at the recent Ukraine-EU summit managed to avoid a diplomatic disaster, while Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych gained a second chance in relations with the European Union, the head of the delegation of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, MEP Pawel Kowal, has said.
"I think that if Ukraine had not got the action plan [on the liberalization of the visa regime with the EU] at the summit, it would have been a disaster. I think that the question - to give or not to give – was seriously raised, but a diplomatic disaster was avoided," he said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Kowal said that in this way Brussels "gave a signal to Yanukovych as a politician working in a democratic system."
"He's got a plan, and he has a chance to initial the association agreement this year. I think that there are very good prospects to say in Ukraine that there is the foundation for reform. Now everything is in his hands. The current situation is a second chance for Yanukovych as a European-style politician," the MEP said.
In this connection, Kowal said that the Ukrainian president had a chance to "bring Ukraine into the EU."
"But, in general, he and the authorities in Ukraine lack one thing - understanding that support from the opposition is required for this and that with its representatives it's definitely necessary to build a serious dialog," he said.
"It is very important that the president's entourage understand this – there should be a dialog. But when we were in Ukraine, we saw that there was no dialog, and this is the biggest problem," he said.
As reported, the 14th EU-Ukraine summit was in Brussels, Belgium, on November 22, 2010. Ukraine received an action plan for the introduction of a visa-free regime of short stay travel to the EU.