Sochi not far away from Ukraine

On the occasion of the opening of the Special Olympics European Games in Warsaw, Belgian athletes carried the "Olympic Flame" and stopped by different symbolic places in Brussels. The course ended at the EP, where Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Seán Kelly, Member of the EP, welcomed a delegation of athletes.(EC Audiovisual Services,  14/09/2010).

On the occasion of the opening of the Special Olympics European Games in Warsaw, Belgian athletes carried the “Olympic Flame” and stopped by different symbolic places in Brussels. The course ended at the EP, where Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Seán Kelly, Member of the EP, welcomed a delegation of athletes.(EC Audiovisual Services, 14/09/2010).

On the day the Russian organizers of the $51 billion Winter Olympic Games staged the opening ceremony in Sochi, the European Union found the opportunity to talk to Moscow about pigs, European pigs. Yesterday, Friday 7 February, Health Commissioner Tonio Borg called once more on the Russian Federation to “engage in constructive talks on the issue of the Russian ban on EU pig exports”.

Of course, the European Union couldn’t ignore altogether the opening of the Winter Olympic Games, in the Russian southern city of Sochi, where palm trees can be seen in pictures together with mountain slops covered with artificially produced snow. To this effect, Commissioner Androula Vassiliou responsible for sport issued a seven lines Press Release, to “wish the best of luck to all the competitors, and in particular of course, to all my fellow Europeans”.

No Brussels dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. Vassiliou, the sports Commissioner, issued the above mentioned Press release from her Brussels office. The western leaders were conspicuous with their absence. No Barack Obama, no David Cameron and no Angela Merkel or Francois Hollande came to this hideously expensive Russian fiesta. Ukraine is a very large country to ignore as it lies between the European Union and Russia.

Moscow tests Kiev

As the European Sting writer Suzan A. Kane concluded on 24 January “Yanukovych, the Ukrainian President, is not backing from his position to align his country in a Moscow led economic union, instead of signing an Association Agreement with the EU as the protesters demand for six weeks now. Ukraine was negotiating with the EU this far-reaching Association Agreement for two years, but in the last-minute Yanukovych turned to Moscow and embraced a Eurasia Union, created by the Russian President Vladimir Putin two years ago. From that moment Ukraine is stuck in a risky path, with thousands of protestors gathering every day in the center of capital Kiev”.

Instead, the European Union leaders welcomed in Brussels Ruslana Lyzhychko, Ukrainian singer, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 and Leader of the “EuroMaidan” protest movement. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, participated in the 495th plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) with Henri Malosse, President of the EESC. The two presidents and Lyzhychko debated the state of civil society in Ukraine and its expectations vis-à-vis the European Union. Naturally, the conclusion was that the civil society in this country is invariably turned west, looking forward to an alignment with the European Union.

Washington interferes

As expected, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych went to Sochi and of course met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The main issue during that meeting must have been the $15 billion the Russians have promised to Yanukovych but have now withheld the next tranche. The problem is that the Ukrainian President was forced by the protests to make important concessions to the opposition, by offering its leaders the position of Prime Minister. Moscow didn’t like at all this retreat by Yanukovych and withheld the payments from this multi dollar billion agreement. Some weeks ago the Russian state gas monopoly, Gasprom, offered a 35% price reduction on the fuel sold to Ukraine and together with this $15bn, the package was supposed to rescue Ukraine from an imminent bankruptcy.

Nothing came out from the Sochi meeting between the two Presidents and neither side felt inclined to make any comment. Understandably, if there was a positive turn for the Russian side, Putin would have celebrated. As things stand now, Ukraine is still in balance and Europe insists that its offer for an Association Agreement is always on the table. Unfortunately, for Europe, Washington now interferes in force, opting for a joint EU-US offer to Yanukovych with unpredictable results.

 

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

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

Denmark’s last circus elephants are retiring – here’s what might take their place

A Sting Exclusive: “Junior Enterprises themselves carry out projects focusing on the environment”, JADE President Daniela Runchi highlights from Brussels

‘Comprehensively include migrants’ or sustainable development won’t happen, warns General Assembly President

Towards a European Republic

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

This is the world’s biggest mental health problem – and you might not have heard of it

Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

Tobacco is harming the planet, not just our health, says new study

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

The three US financial war fleets

Online government services could change your life. But only if you have access to the internet

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

Amid ‘volatile’ environment, UN mission chief urges Iraqi leaders to ‘listen to the voice of the people’

“As long as we work together through thick and thin, more benefits can be delivered to the people of Eurasia”, China’s Premier Li Keqiang highlights from ASEM in Brussels

Eurozone 2013: Where to?

Carnage must stop in northwest Syria demands Lowcock, as attacks intensify

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

Netherlands: Budget MEPs back €1.2m in job-search aid for 450 redundant workers

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

Health Education, is it a necessity?

After the Italian ‘no’ and the Brexit, Germans must decide which Europe they want

Here are the biggest cybercrime trends of 2019

Peace in the Gulf ‘at a critical juncture’ says DiCarlo, urging continuation of Iran nuclear deal

In the age of the tourism backlash, we need ‘destination stewards’

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

Online shopping across the EU to be easier from 3 December

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

EU-US trade talks go ahead despite Prism and civil rights breach

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

How music can help children with autism connect

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

5 things you need to know about water

Top UN officials strongly condemn ‘horrible terrorist act’ in Nairobi

Hungary has made progress on greening its economy and now needs to raise its ambitions

IMF’s Lagarde indirectly cautioned Eurozone on deflation

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

Impact of high debt levels on least developed countries ‘cannot be overstated’, says UN

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs

What just happened? 5 themes from the COP24 climate talks in Poland

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: #GlobalGoals progress, essential meds, updates from Cox’s Bazar, Sudan and DR Congo

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

FROM THE FIELD: A mountain of indigenous knowledge in Peru

Cheap sea transport with low cost seafarers

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

The Energy Union: from vision to reality

Impact investment favours expats over African entrepreneurs. Here’s how to fix that

US resolution to condemn activities of Hamas voted down in General Assembly

Europe faces economic turmoil as Italy gets closer to the Excessive Debt Procedure

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Why vaccines are not just for children

3 ways firms can master the digital challenges of the 4IR

How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

Youth platforms call on German Government to break down legal barriers for young volunteers and pupils

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to
    put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount
    of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

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