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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

The British assessment

Ukraine’s success may become an example for Belarus and Moldova
9 October, 2007 - 00:00

“Ukraine’s success may serve an example for countries that are experiencing difficulties, for instance, Moldova and Belarus. We are very pleased that you have held these elections, and we hope they have a positive result,” Richard Spring, Member of the British Parliament, deputy head of the Conservative Party, and head of the British Ukrainian Society, said at a recent press conference. At the same time the British politician was reserved in his assessment of the election results. In reply to a question from The Day’s reporter whether the role of Europe’s broad coalitions is a constructive one and whether the European experience of creating such coalitions may be applied in Ukraine, Spring said: “It is hard to generalize because each European country has its own system of forming governments. The United Kingdom has a rather unusual system. Historically, we have never had a coalition government. Usually, the Labor Party or the Conservatives wins. But if the general elections take place soon and neither Labor nor the Conservative Party obtains a clear-cut majority, one of them will probably have to create a coalition. So, it is difficult to judge whether a coalition government works well or badly. In some countries it works, in others it doesn’t. I am sure that after the negotiations between the Ukrainian political forces a government will be formed. However, it is important to have a period of stability in Ukraine because your country has brilliant prospects. So I hope that the new government justifies all the aspirations of the people. And we share these aspirations, too.”

Mr. Spring also said that the British government will actively support the enlargement of the European Neighborhood Policy for Ukraine. British politicians and analysts agree that EU enlargement is very important. Therefore, Great Britain is interested in Ukraine’s becoming a member of the European Union. “Both business and political circles in the UK are very aware of Ukraine’s geopolitical location. We want to maintain the best possible relations between our two countries.

“Great Britain has 100,000 citizens of Ukrainian origin. Many Ukrainian companies want their shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. We are thrilled that young Ukrainians are studying in British universities,” the head of the British Ukrainian Society emphasized. He added that the goal of the association is clear: to develop contacts not only on political and economic but also cultural, educational, and artistic levels. The British Ukrainian Society holds seminars in London, where the importance of broadening bilateral relations is promoted. Much importance is attributed to cultural exchange programs, in particular, familiarizing the British public with Ukrainian culture and art.

Mr. Spring admitted that, regardless of what political parties will be in the British government or what kind of coalition will be formed in Ukraine, the British Ukrainian Society will be oriented toward constructive cooperation between our two countries. He also announced that since the association was established this year, a switch to the second stage of activity is taking place: organizing activities and acquiring members and sponsors to provide live contacts between the UK and Ukraine.

By Mykola SIRUK, The Day