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

Yemen: Tackling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

4 things to know about the state of conflict today

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

Yemen: 11 more ‘terrible, senseless’ civilian deaths reported, following attack in Sana’a – top UN official

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

Towards a zero tobacco public space in Cameroon

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Theresa May expresses her optimism about Britain’s economic success while UK business outlook seems ominous

EU Leaders’ meeting in Sofia: Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for the benefit of all

We need a new Operating System for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

Interview with ourselves: the mental health of health professionals

Could entrepreneurship be the real cure against the side effects of Brexit?

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Lake Chad trees keep deadly drought at bay

Another doomed EU attempt to interfere in Libya?

It’s time to strengthen global digital cooperation

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

In Rwanda, high-speed drones are delivering blood to remote communities

Parliament sets up plan to fight the 3,600 criminal rings of EU

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

Ensure that widows are ‘not left out or left behind’, UN chief urges on International Day

Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

EU mobilises €21 million to support Palestine refugees via the UN Relief and Works Agency

Your morning cup of coffee contains 140 litres of water

European Semester Autumn Package: Bolstering inclusive and sustainable growth

This surgeon runs a makeshift hospital for over 200,000 people

Marco Polo’s Dream

5 surprising ways to reuse coffee grounds

Youth Entrepreneurship Issue of the month: JEN, organisers of JADE October Meeting, on why JEs should come together

Global Citizen – Volunteer Internships

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

6 young leaders who are improving the state of the world on International Youth Day

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

These are the world’s most positive countries

European Business Summit 2014 Launch Event: “Energising Industrial Growth”

“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

Syria: ‘Deplorable’ violence in Idlib against civilians, humanitarian workers must ‘stop immediately’: UN Coordinator

Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges MEPs to put words into action

How music can help children with autism connect

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

EU-UK: A deal synonymous to ‘remain’, England pays the Irish price

More refugees being helped by family, work and study permits, finds OECD and UNHCR study

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

UN chief welcomes new push by El Salvador’s political parties to begin fresh dialogue

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

US must abide by humanitarian refugee accords: UN refugee agency

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

Statelessness for terrorists’ families, never an acceptable option, urges UN rights chief

UN police officer recognized for protecting vulnerable Somali women from abuse

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

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