Ukraine undecided over a strategic partnership with the EU

In the in the margins of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (on the right) and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (on the left) met with Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine. (EC Audiovisual Services, 24/09/2013).

In the in the margins of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (on the right) and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (on the left) met with Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine. (EC Audiovisual Services, 24/09/2013).

The Eastern Partnership, EU’s major and expensive initiative to extend its influence up to the southern borders of Russia is faltering dangerously. Ukraine doesn’t seem ready to sign the Partnership, after Armenia recently rejected it. This is the second opening of the European Union to Eastern Europe, after the successful historic enlargement of the Union to the eight former soviet-bloc ex-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. This time it was the turn of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Out of those six countries the most important of all, is obvious Ukraine. The European Union has been very actively preparing the Vilnius Summit scheduled for 28-29 November, where Ukraine is expected o sign an Association Agreement with the EU. Ten days ahead of this Vilnius Summit and Ukraine doesn’t appear ready to fulfil the prerequisites set by Brussels, to a great embarrassment of the EU dignitaries.

“Ukraine has recently achieved a lot. It has shown determined action and tangible progress in many areas; but we are not there yet. It would be highly misfortunate to slip from the road just before the finish line,” said the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which took place yesterday in Brussels. Lithuania currently holds the EU Council’s rotating Presidency.

Last key decisions missing

It was very characteristic that the 28 EU foreign ministers, who make up the powerful Foreign Affairs Council of the EU, appeared ready to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine, if “some key necessary laws will be adopted without further delays”. Obviously this is a direct reference to the release from prison of the former Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko. However Viktor Yanukovych, the President of the Ukraine, doesn’t seem ready to release Tymoshenko from prison. This would have been Yanukovych’s last and decisive step in directing his country towards the West, cutting off ties with Moscow.

If Ukraine finally doesn’t sign the Association Agreement with the European Union, it will be the second blow to the Brussels new strategic opening to the East and a personal victory of Vladimir Putin. This summer Armenia, instead of promoting its ties with the EU, suddenly changed course and signed a membership agreement with the Eurasian Union (EAU). This EAU is a personal stake of the Russian President who launched it in 2011. Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus have practically united their economies. Now Armenia decided to join them. It is a strong economic union, with common tariffs and even a common legal system. The EUA can become soon a global player. Apart from Ukraine, Russia eyes also Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Tajikistan to be incorporated in its anti EU, Union.

It’s not only that though. The members of the EUA participate also in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Russia systematically presses the member states of the CSTO group to increase the cooperation of their military and security services. Unquestionably the participation of Ukraine in both the EUA and the CSTO would have been a personal triumph for Putin and Russia. On the contrary if Kiev sides with the West, Moscow would look helpless, not being able to attract under its sphere of influence a once inseparable part of the USSR. Ukraine was a part of the Russian Empire before communism.

Moscow calls Kyiv

In view of all that, Moscow has been relentlessly working to stop Ukraine from drifting westwards. In reality this is an already divided country. Its three western regions are traditionally attracted by Western Europe, while the populations living in the other three regions in the east consider Moscow as their trusted stanchion. The River Dnieper is so wide that it actually divides Ukraine not only in two distinct geographical areas, but in two widely differing parts. Even the Orthodox church of Ukraine is divided in two, the eastern part belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate and the other part to the Kyiv Patriarchate.

All in all, ten days ahead of the Vilnius Summit and the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine is practically in the air. In reality it’s a matter of the next 72 hours, that Ukraine has to decide its political and economic future.

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Brain drain 2017: why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Vegetarianism is good for the economy too

Misinformation and growing distrust on vaccines, ‘dangerous as a disease’ says UNICEF chief

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

Latest tragedy in the Mediterranean claims over 100 lives – UN refugee agency

European Youth Forum on Summit on Jobs and Growth

Why is Grexit again in the news? Who is to pay for Eurozone’s banking problems?

EU’s tougher privacy rules: WhatsApp and Facebook set to be soon aligned with telcos

To achieve the Great Reset, we will need more than just the actions of the powerful

Migration policy affects attractiveness of OECD countries to international talent

6 charts that show how Japan’s economy stacks up as it enters a new era

MEPs want to boost energy storage in the EU to help spur decarbonisation

DR Congo President and UN chief meet at a ‘historic moment’ for democracy in the country

EU budget: Commission proposes €1.26 billion to reinforce the European Solidarity Corps

Strengthen inclusion, participation of people with autism to ‘achieve their full potential’ says UN chief

Italian banks: It’s Rome’s turn to confront Berlin’s aggressiveness

Draghi strives to control the unruly exploitation of financial markets by banking leviathans

Eurozone: How safe are our deposits? Which banks will survive?

Europe enters uncharted waters with Kiev-Moscow standoff

Stakeholder capitalism is urgently needed – and the COVID-19 crisis shows us why

Growing up near green space is good for your mental health as an adult

Here’s how data could make our cities safer

New York and London mayors call on cities to divest from fossil fuels

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by Ethiopia plane crash which killed 157, including at least 21 UN workers

What little Cameron got in Brussels seems enough to keep Britain in the EU

Thailand gave healthcare to its entire population and the results were dramatic

Finland should do more to improve job prospects of low-skilled youth

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

5 steps businesses can take to protect air quality after COVID-19

One third of poorer countries face both undernutrition and obesity: WHO report

This is why retail is such a sore point in India-US trade relations

What matters most to young Europeans?

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme

ECB’s new money bonanza handed out to help the real economy or create new bubbles?

Digitalization is changing banking – These 3 trends will help shape its future

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

Amidst ‘high political tension’, UN chief appeals to G20 leaders for stronger commitment to climate action, economic cooperation

Air pollution, the ‘silent killer’ that claims seven million lives a year: rights council hears

How banking with blockchain can stamp out corruption and increase financial inclusion

Does the Erasmus program really contribute to the construction of a solid EU identity?

Why CEOs need to become activists in sustainability

The European Commission to stop Buffering

Tools of asset development: Renewable Energy Projects case

The blackened white coat of the doctors

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

Brexit must not put UK university research at risk

Volkswagen getting away with it in Europe

Energy: EU funding for priority projects should reflect 2050 climate objectives

Healthy habits to help you cope with health anxiety

‘End the ongoing atrocities’ against people with albinism in Malawi, say UN rights experts

How building renovations can speed up the electric vehicle revolution

The relation of deforestation and respiratory diseases

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

International Criminal Court acquits former president Gbagbo of war crimes in Côte d’Ivoire

How emerging markets will shape Africa in 2020

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s