October 27, 2016
AUSTRALIA’ S UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY CALLS ON THE NETHERLANDS TO RATIFY EU-UKRAINE ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT
The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) today wrote to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, H.E Mark Rutte urging him to unblock the full and unconditional ratification by the Netherlands of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (Agreement).
The letter is in support of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) call to the PM to ratify the Agreement and create the opportunity for stronger stability and economic opportunities for the Netherlands and the region.
For the European Union (EU), the survival of the Association Agreement is a litmus test on EU capacities to project its transformation power beyond its borders. This would determine, in particular, the prospects for strengthening the Eastern European Partnership.
“The Agreement is key to reforms in Ukraine and its economic recovery. We see the Agreement as a strategic alliance in creating a stronger future for all concerned. Today’s New Ukraine is the result of the Ukrainian people unequivocally calling Europe its logical connector. The Euromaidan rallies in 2013 reinforced this message.” AFUO Chairman Stefan Romaniw said today.
“It should be noted that this Agreement is by no means a one-way agreement favouring Ukraine. Strategically Europe and its neighbours will become more secure. It will send a strong message to the Russian Federation that its aggression will not be tolerated and that Ukraine is a key partner in a secure alliance.” Mr Romaniw said.
Economically the Agreement would open up new markets for the Netherlands as Ukraine is open for business with over 45 million potential consumers. Currently the Netherlands is the second largest investor in Ukraine. Ratifying the Agreement can only enhance the opportunities for Dutch businesses and strengthen the Dutch economy.
In this changing world it is important for those who adhere to similar sets of values and principles to show solidarity. International tensions in today’s world can be dismounted by countries showing solidarity, acting in unison and sending strong messages to those who continue to flaunt, test and discount these values.
“Whilst we understand that domestic politics often overrides the bigger cause, we would advocate that ratifying the Agreement will only enhance the lives of the Dutch people and of the Netherlands in terms of geopolitics, security and economically,” Mr Romaniw said.
“A rejection of the ratification will strengthen the position of the Russian Federation, increase its aggression in Ukraine. We would argue the bigger the footprint in Ukraine the more dangerous it becomes for Europe.” Mr Romaniw said.
The AFUO calls on members of the Ukrainian community in Australia to contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Canberra and Consulates in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and offer support the UWC and AFUO calls for full ratification of the Agreement.
Further information – Contact – Stefan Romaniw 0149 531 255