EU sends new ambassador to Kyiv: what will it change for Ukraine?

Author : Serhiy Sydorenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ambassador Tombinski to got to a new office in Brussels, while Hugues Mingarelli to take his place
23:33, 21 July 2016

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The European External Action Service finally decided on who will become the new head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine instead of Jan Tadeusz Tombinski.

This is the Frenchman of Italian origin Hugues Mingarelli, who won the other candidates in an internal "competition." And the Ambassador Tombinski to depart from Kyiv to another European country.

The current ambassador to the EU has been working for four years, since the summer of 2012. His predecessors were Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira (2008 – 2012) and Ian Boag (2004 – 2008).

Related: Tombinski about political crisis in Ukraine: We are running in circles

Well forgotten old

Since 2012, Hugues Mingarelli has been responsible for the EU Foreign Service in a hotspot of tension of Mediterranean region, including Syria with its full-scale civil war, and Libya, major part of which is under the control of terrorists. His official position is "EU Managing Director for North Africa, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, Iran, and Iraq."

Seems like there is no relation to Ukraine. But the diplomats and experts, who have long been working with the EU subject, remember the Franco-Italian, who took care of our state in Brussels. In 2002 - 2010 Ukraine had been part of his responsibilities.

Related: Ukraine needs to complete one last step, then it’s up to EU leaders: Tombinski on visa-free regime

Moreover, he was at the origin of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. Before 2010, Mingarelli was the chief EU negotiator on a "new enhanced agreement."

Related: Tombinski: EU gives extra € 20 million for infrastructure reforms in Ukraine

After Tombinski, who speaks Ukrainian and has a personal interest in the rapprochement of EU and Ukraine, we should not expect that the new ambassador would be well-liked by everyone without exception.

Mingarelli was present during the visit of President Yanukovych (with Minister Poroshenko) Brussels, 1 March 2010.

Poroshenko, who was the Foreign Minister in late 2009 and early 2010, had the opportunity to meet with Mingarelli.

New people - new opportunities

In foreign policy of the EU there is an informal division of areas of responsibility.

Under this unwritten rule, Commissioner Johannes Hahn takes care of Ukraine and the Head of the Foreign Service of the EU Federica Mogherini often communicates with Russia. Among the key areas of responsibility of Mogherini are North Africa and the Middle East.

Not surprisingly, Italian Mogherini and its subordinate Mingarelli too often work together.

Therefore, there is reason to hope that this contact will not be interrupted and after the appointment of a European diplomat in Kyiv and Ukraine will have a new channel of communication with the head of EU foreign policy service.

Indeed, in the current difficult situation when Russia is actively leads information war in Ukraine as well as in the EU, it is important not only to convey information about the actual course of events to European leaders but also this information must be reliable and the trusted source. 

Related: Die Welt: Mogherini supports extending sanctions against Russia

“Roman” Tombinski

The sources say that the current EU Ambassador in Ukraine is waiting for a new trip abroad. Jan Tadeusz Tombinski to lead the EU office in Italy. He expected to get a position in Brussels, in the central office of the European diplomatic service (for Ukraine this appointment would be desirable).

Moving from Kyiv to another ambassadorial position has already become a tradition - his predecessor, Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, became EU ambassador to Cape Verde.

Related: Mogherini, Hahn support judicial reform in Ukraine

At the end of their missions in Kyiv, both Tombinski and Teixeira became more frank in assessments of action and inaction of the authorities.

Unfortunately, in the current situation, it is necessary to press on official Kyiv, pointing out its mistakes. So we hope that Hugues Mingarelli will pass this way externally and will convince skeptics that he supports Ukraine and supports changes in Ukraine. 

Related: Yeliseev: EU-Ukraine Summit delayed until September

This article initially was published on June 03, 2016.

All opinions published on 112.International website reflect the views of the author. 112.International editors may not agree with the opinion of the author.

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