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.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

A European young student speaks about the Youth Policies of the European Commission

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

Central Africa: Security Council concerned by ‘grave security situation’, calls for better agency cooperation

How the United States is falling in love with secondhand clothes

Taking fast road to ‘e-mobility’ central to a sustainable future: COP24

‘Catastrophic’ healthcare costs put mothers and newborns at risk

Egyptian death sentences a ‘gross miscarriage of justice’: UN human rights chief

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

Human rights are everyone’s business, amid relentless crises around world: UN’s Bachelet

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

Music is a vital urban resource. How do we plan for it?

EU: Tax evasion and fraud flourish under political protection

Syrians still living on ‘razor edge’ as UN launches $8.8 billion dollar appeal

New study shows close link between GVCs participation and economic development

International Day of the Midwife: 5 things you should know

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand lead the way at teaching skills for the future

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

There is huge talent in the world’s refugee camps. We must realize this overlooked potential

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

A conceptual approach to Violence Against Healthcare in Turkey from SDG’s

Measuring consumer confidence isn’t useful anymore. Here’s what we should do instead

4 radical shifts required to achieve universal health coverage worldwide

How to future-proof India’s economy

There’s a global learning crisis and it’s leaving millions without basic skills

This is how attitudes to vaccines compare around the world

Hopes for Palestinian State hit by ‘facts on the ground’ : senior UN official

When it comes to envirotech adoption, NGOs can lead us out of the woods

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

These forms of exercise are best for your mental health

5G will redefine entire business models. Here’s how

Haiti stands ‘at the crossroads’ between peacekeeping, development – Bachelet urges strengthened ‘human rights protection’

DR Congo: Ebola response resumes despite ‘risky environment’

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Bicycles for the environment, new leader for the UN General Assembly, UN values, Ebola, Syria and Libya

Thursday’s Daily Brief: dire living conditions in Idlib, migrants at US southern border, end in sight for trachoma, Human Rights Council

If airlines were a country they’d be one of the world’s top 10 greenhouse gas emitters

MWC19 Wrap Up, in association with The European Sting, GSMA’s Brussels Media Partner for the 6th Consecutive Year

Here’s how to make ‘value-based healthcare’ a reality

‘Ghost fishing’ is threatening our oceans. Here’s how we can tackle it

Schools must look to the future when connecting students to the internet

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

EU tourism industry expects a new record year in 2014

North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid ‘increased sophistication’ of attackers, warns UN

Mental health: a medical school’s demand

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

Portugal: Budget MEPs back €4.66 m in job-search aid for 730 redundant workers

Erasmus+: an expected budget of €3 billion to be invested in young Europeans and to help create European Universities in 2019

Indigenous peoples ‘lag behind on all social and economic indicators’: UN deputy human rights chief

Eliminating waste at scale – eight opportunities for blockchain

The US-Mexico trade deal a threat for others, Trump to single out China, Europe

We can decide to live within the limits of our planet

7 ways for businesses to capture the youth dividend

More Stings?

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