Peter Ricketts

Peter Ricketts

Ambassador to France from February 2012 to January 2016.

Part of UK in France

24th February 2014 Paris, France

Extraordinary events in Ukraine

Euro Revolution in Kiev, Sunday 1st of December 2013 - Credits: mac_ivan, Creative Commons License
Euro Revolution in Kiev, Sunday 1st of December 2013 - Credits: mac_ivan, Creative Commons License

The events in Ukraine over last week have been absolutely extraordinary, and they’ve made me think back to that period in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall, and the liberation of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Written version (continued)

Since that time, the enlargement of the European Union and NATO is, I think, one of the great triumphs of my generation’s diplomacy. It has brought stability, growing prosperity to tenth of millions of people in that part of the world.

And what is happening in Ukraine is a reminder that the EU and NATO still have this power of attraction to countries outside – it’s a promise of a degree of access to the world and to growing prosperity for your family that they didn’t have up until now. Sometimes, in our internal quarrels and discussions in the EU, we can forget that outside, the EU can be seen as a very, very powerful, attractive force for the future.

My Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have been very much involved in the diplomacy over Ukraine in recent days. Of course, the Foreign Ministers of France, Poland and Germany were there and helped to secure the historic deal that enabled the opposition forces to take power. We said that we would work with the new government, we will help them with the IMF to get the economic resources that they need.

There is still of course a lot to be done to ensure that Ukraine can emerge from this as a united country, stable and able to make its own decisions about the future.

And it’s also a reminder that other countries around the edges of Europe – for example in the Balkans – are also looking towards the EU for the same sort of power to help them change the life of their people.

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2 comments on “Extraordinary events in Ukraine

  1. Dear Peter Ricketts,
    in fact , these described events in the Ukraine are to me not only “extraordinary ” but also one step before a civil war. At least and according of the BBC or ARD (Germany) news of 02/25th/14. That ‘s why I wished that the ordinary /common Ukrainian people (and not the regime !) would have the chance to join this enlarged EU. Or at least the chance to vote “pro” or “contra” in free democratic elections. Well , maybe the 4 above mentioned EU or NATO states and their policy / diplomacy of the “recent” days will finally end in a peacefully solution. `Though “peacefully” might sound a little bit cynical if you know , that dozens of people have been already killed.

    Best wishes, Liebe Grüßle, Ingo-Steven Wais, Stuttgart

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