In connection with the new political season, which began not only in the Ukrainian Parliament, but also in the European Parliament, delegation of MPs of Ukraine from the Party of Regions arrived on an official visit to Strasbourg. Delegation members are Chairman of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction Olexander Yefremov, Deputy Chairman of the Party of Regions for International Affairs Leonid Kozhara, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information Olena Bondarenko, member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Banking, Tax and Customs Policy Vitaliy Kaliuzhny.

Today, September 13, in the European Parliament took place a public meeting on "The Future of EU-Ukraine Relations and Ukraine’s Internal Political Situation", where the Chairman of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction Olexander Yefremov informed about the current situation in Ukraine.

Particular attention Olexander Yefremov paid to reforms, which are being carried out by authorities. "Over the past year and a half great changes took place in Ukraine. Unfortunately, in Europe, few people know what is actually happening in the country. The country's leaders held a number of reforms - this is pension and judicial reforms, adoption of anti-corruption legislation and the new Tax Code," the politician said.

"Now we are preparing such global documents as a bill on the land market, new Criminal Procedure, Housing and Communal and Labour Codes. In Ukraine these laws have a long history, they are not modernized. And, unfortunately, over the 20 years of existence of Ukraine as an independent state, no one worked on them. It is our task. Therefore we have a lot of work to do. And as you can see, we are working very hard," said Olexander Yefremov.

MEPs stressed the importance of the visit of Ukrainian parliamentarians because now it is a key moment in relations between the EU and Ukraine, and Europe needs first-hand information.

Olexander Yefremov reminded that in 2009 Party of Regions started with very bad starting positions. "When we conducted an audit of the national economy, it was found that in 2009 we began with minus 15% of GDP. It was a disastrous number. And we had to find quickly the tools for economic growth, to overcome the economic crisis. However, our operational work and the actions that we undertook, gave a good positive result. 2011 we are to finish with 5% increase of our economy," he stressed.

Representatives of the European Parliament agreed to this. They noted how significantly increased the intensity of work of Ukrainian Parliament and adopted documents.

According to Olexander Yefremov, today the government command faces many challenges. And one of the most important is the European integration of the country. "And at the moment it is one of the uniting issues for opposition and authorities. There is no dissent and no opponents here. Everyone understands that we need to work on this common goal," said Olexander Yefremov.

Answering the question, what Ukraine will choose: Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with Europe or the Customs Union, Olexander Yefremov said that our first priority is the EU, but at the same time we want to maintain good relations with Russia, if that's possible from its side. "In turn, we declare that we want to be a part of civilized Europe," said the politician.

The head of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction got stronger conviction that there is practically no opponent of integration between Ukraine and EU, everybody is trying to help, to give an advice; no one wants to see Ukraine worse or poorer, or further from the EU; everybody is trying to support it.

MEPs, in turn, said that Europe would like to see Ukraine developing further and happy people living in Ukraine. The MPs acknowledged that Europe knows very little about what is actually happening inside the country.

In addition, Olexander Yefremov said that judging by the questions he was asked about Tymoshenko case, there is a significant lack of information about the topic. That is, people know about it, but nobody goes into details, and, as a rule, the very essence is hidden in details.

He reminded the gist of the charges against ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine. "In January 2009 Tymoshenko was in talks with Russia on gas supplies. Under the Law "On International Treaties of Ukraine" the authority to negotiate and to sign international treaties is granted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as a collective body. The Prime Minister can not alone authorize someone to negotiate on behalf of the Government.

When negotiations with Russia began, most of the ministers at the Cabinet of Ministers session refused to support Tymoshenko's personal position, as evidenced by minutes of meeting. Despite of this, she provided the Ukrainian negotiators a document entitled "Directives of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine", which contained the signature of Tymoshenko and official government seal. Thus, the ex-Prime Minister is charged with single-handed decision and document forgery," said Olexander Yefremov.

In addition, the MP informed about extremely unfavorable conditions for Ukraine, which are in the contract. This, above all, is the highest price, unreasonable amount of compulsory gas purchase (Ukraine consumes 40 billion cubic meters and must buy 52 billion cubic meters), and extremely inadequate penalties. If the country does not buy stated in the contract amount of gas, then there is the penalty 150% in summer, and in winter - 300%. "If such a contract was signed in the business between the two businessmen, one of them would be admitted to be crazy, that is absolutely inadequate and disadvantageous contract for the country," said Olexander Yefremov.

Press Service of the Party of Regions

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