Tombiński’s new assignment was announced as a part of a wave of appointments of 17 heads and deputy heads of EU delegations across the world.
Ukraine doesn’t appear to regret the departure of former EU Ambassador José Manuel Pinto Teixeira, who has been blacklisted by the country’s Foreign Ministry for making statements falling “beyond the scope of his diplomatic functions”.
Teixeira, of Portugal, publicly criticised Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich for failing to deliver on his pledge to improve the business climate and tackle corruption.
Teixeira has now been appointed to head the EU delegation in Cape Verde, a former colony of Portugal.
His replacement could be seen as a gesture to Ukraine as some EU countries like Poland fear growing Russian influence in Ukraine if too much pressure is put on the country over the treatment of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry strongly welcomed the news of the appointment of the new EU ambassador.
“Certainly, we have very positive expectations related to the new EU representative in Ukraine who represents Poland, the country that has done a lot for the European integration of Ukraine,” said Oleh Voloshyn, director of the Department for Information Policy at the Foreign Ministry.
“As for Teixeira, we are going to constructively cooperate with him until he leaves Ukraine and wish him success in his work at other priority directions of the European foreign policy,” the Foreign Ministry representative added.
Tombiński was until now the Polish Ambassador to the EU, a post he held since 2007. He worked as a librarian and lecturer at the Jagiellonian University in Poland until 1990, when he became a career diplomat. He has previously been the Polish ambassador to Slovenia and France.
In Brussels, Tombiński was perceived as a “smooth operator”, discretely pushing for Polish interests such as preserving the cohesion and structural funding in the next long-term EU budget. The success of the Polish EU presidency in the second half of 2011 can be partly attributed to him.