The EU accuses Russia of bullying Ukraine to change sides

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (in the centre), Dalia Grybauskaité, President of Lithuania and President in office of the Council of the EU and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, participated in the inaugural meeting of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU with the EC in Vilnius.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (in the centre), Dalia Grybauskaité, President of Lithuania and President in office of the Council of the EU and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, participated in the inaugural meeting of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU with the EC in Vilnius.

It took four days to European Union two presidents to grasp the magnitude of the Ukrainian full U-turn, with Kyiv signing the Moscow led customs union, after cashing in the advance of EU’s financial aid. The unprecedented complete turnaround of Ukraine’s foreign policy took place last Thursday and the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy issued a joint statement on Monday 25 November. They probably waited for the impressive rally the Ukrainian opposition staged last Sunday against their country’s siding with Russia.

Reading the text of the Presidential statement leaves a bitter taste. It also contains strong indications over the future EU’s stance towards Ukraine and its President Viktor Yanukovych. Barroso and Rompuy start their appraisal of the situation by stressing, that what the EU offered to Ukraine is a unique and super generous arrangement.

Offering full membership

The Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) which were supposed to be signed by the two sides in Vilnius on 28 November are an unprecedented package, specially created for Ukraine. It could lead in a few years to negotiations for full membership. No other candidate country or Eastern Partnership state is offered such a lucrative EU package, containing large advances. The two EU presidents clarify though that “The offer of signing an unprecedented Association Agreement and a DCFTA is still on the table”.

The next thing the Barroso-Rompuy statement stresses is that the EU will continue being present in Ukraine’s internal affairs, by supporting those political parties and citizens, who are in favour of their country’s western affiliation, opposing the Russian embracement. The Press release clearly notes that “The EU stands ready to be more open and more supportive to those who are willing to engage in reforms and modernisation”. This reference indirectly exposes the authoritarian environment of the Moscow led custom union, where the executive strongly influences the other pillar of democracy, namely the judiciary.

This said, the EU presidents let their wrath be directed against Russia and “the external pressure that Ukraine is experiencing”. In this respect Brussels try to underline the basic difference between the means used by the West and Russia to gain influence in Ukraine. The press release states “However the European Union will not force Ukraine, or any other partner, to choose between the European Union or any other regional entity”.

Influence at any cost

This is an effort to expose the non-transparent means and the threats used by Russia, to extend its sphere of influence. To underline the difference between what the EU’s and Russia’s offer to Ukraine, the two presidents note “We therefore strongly disapprove of the Russian position and actions in this respect. The Association Agreement and a DCFTA are opportunities to accompany our common neighbours towards modern, prosperous and rule-based democracies”.

Barroso and Rompuy have another direct message for Moscow. They tell the ruler of Kremlin that the EU doesn’t mean to harm Russia by offering partnership to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. The relevant part of the text goes like that, “Stronger relations with the European Union do not come at the expense of relations between our Eastern partners and their other neighbours, such as Russia”. This allegation is bit awkward though. Looking at the map of the region, the six countries for which the EU has designed its Eastern Partnership initiative can practically encircle Russia. They create a buffer zone in the south-eastern borders of the EU.

In any case the two EU presidents want to make it clear that the Union is not abandoning the efforts to extend its influence in the south borders of Russia. The tug of war between the West and Russia will continue in this vast region, which extends from the borders of Poland to the shores of the Caspian Sea.

 

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

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for decisive action on security priorities

How the diaspora is helping Venezuela’s migration crisis

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Latin America, in association with The European Sting

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

On the first day of 2019, over 395,000 babies to be born worldwide: UNICEF

Qualcomm to be the next target of EU antitrust regulators? China might be the answer

Scoring for the environment: what Mathieu Flamini’s top-flight football career taught him about leadership

CEOs in these countries are more likely to go with their gut

Pandemic mental health: the urgency of self-care

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

Changing how we produce and consume: New Circular Economy Action Plan shows the way to a climate-neutral, competitive economy of empowered consumers

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

Gig workers among the hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic

EU budget: Reinforcing Europe’s cultural and creative sectors

Stepped-up efforts needed to combat pneumonia; save nearly nine million children’s lives

COVID-19: What to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 6 April

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

European Semester Autumn Package: Creating an economy that works for people and the planet

Burundi: Inclusive dialogue ‘only viable option’ for resolving country’s political crisis says, UN envoy

EU Youth Conference in Amsterdam: enabling young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

Here are 4 of the most politically charged World Cup games ever played

This chart shows the total number of COVID-19 cases and recoveries so far

Supporting the recovery: MEPs adopt budget priorities for 2021

This is how the Western Balkans will become more innovative

EU out to conquer African Union summit

Nearly half a billion people can’t find decent work; unemployment set to rise: new UN labour report

With potential to boost profits by up to 20 per cent, a woman’s place is at work, says UN labour agency

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

Spring 2019 Economic Forecast: Growth continues at a more moderate pace

UN chief condemns suspected Boko Haram attacks targeting Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Nigeria

IMF: The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for insurers to invest in the real economy

Germany loves a strong euro; the new Fiscal Councils can deliver despite the Greek chaos and a wider questioning of austerity

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

We can build a carbon-neutral world by 2050. Here’s how

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

These 11 EU states already meet their 2020 renewable energy targets

International Court of Justice orders Pakistan to review death penalty for Indian accused of spying

Mother of all mergers between Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram: EU Data Privacy restrictions against Facebook’s imperialistic plans

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

New ECB boss quizzed for the first time by Economic Affairs Committee

MEPs back update of rail passenger rights across EU

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

Venezuelan crisis: MEPs reaffirm their support for Juan Guaidó

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

Radio still a powerful worldwide tool for ‘dialogue, tolerance and peace’: Guterres

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

I accidentally went viral on TikTok. I learned we failed our youngest generation.

Code of Practice against disinformation: Commission calls on signatories to intensify their efforts

To retire at 65, American millennials need to save almost half their paycheck

New EU rules cut red tape for citizens living or working in another Member State as of tomorrow

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