Ukraine cannot join EU without necessary reforms - Zeman


15.04.2014 17:23

Hradec Kralove - Ukraine cannot join the EU in the next several years without implementing political and economic reforms, Czech President Milos Zeman told university students on a visit to the east Bohemian centre Hradec Kralove today.


Prezident Miloš Zeman zahájil 15. dubna v Hradci Králové návštěvu Královehradeckého kraje. ČTK Taneček David

Zeman, on a three-day visit to the Hradec Kralove region, said the presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine will be important for the country´s future.

He said it took the Czech Republic many years before it joined the EU, though it was much better prepared and in a better economic condition than Ukraine is now.

"Ukraine´s prematurely entry would discredit the EU in the eyes of Ukrainians and Ukraine in the eyes of EU members. In the several years to come, Ukraine cannot become an EU member without launching necessary political and, of course, also economic reforms," Zeman said.

He said only after the parliamentary elections, a legitimate and strong government will emerge in Ukraine, with a competent leader at the head.

"Above all, Ukraine will need a strong leader, not one of the gangsters who ruled it before...After the Ukrainian political scene changes this way, I´d consider it useful to ponder on providing aid to Ukraine, mainly via the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank," Zeman said.

He told the students that it is not within the power of either the Czech Republic or the EU to provide aid to Ukraine now.

"The aid would end up in the pockets of so-called oligarchs and it would not reach common Ukrainian people. It would be pouring money into a black hole. Free elections must take place in Ukraine first," Zeman said.

Asked to comment on the gunmen recently invading public buildings in Eastern Ukraine, Zeman said any armed person who penetrates a police station or any other public building "is a criminal, may it be in Kiev´s Maidan square, in [East Ukraine´s] Donetsk or anywhere else."

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