Wednesday, September 24, 2014

European Union and Ukraine: Geopolitical Ambitions Going Too Far > - Strategic Culture Foundation

On September 12, Brussels, Kiev and Moscow agreed that the association agreement should not come into force till at least the end of 2015. The joint statement by European Commissioner forTrade Karel De Gucht, Minister of EconomicDevelopment of the RussianFederation Akexey Ulukaev and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says the Kiev's free trade pact with the EU postponing its entry into force until the end of 2015. As to Ulukaev, “We will continue thediscussion of the issue that concerns us the most - what form [of a solution] we could find to alleviate our worries”. He added, “So far, we have agreed to continue dialogue for the next 15 months, we will present our arguments while our colleagues will offer theirs."

Russia and Ukraine are to maintain regime of trade preferences within the space of Commonwealth of Independent States. The ratification process is to be implemented according the schedule. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko hopes no changes will be introduced into the text of the association agreement reached in Brussels on June 27. In its turn the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says all the provisions should remain in force to benefit Ukraine. It says Ukrainian producers would take advantage of EU unilateral preferences and have time to prepare for tough competition entering the EU-Ukraine free trade zone. Elmer Brok, MEP, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said it would serve the Ukraine’s interests with no customs duties to pay.

There is another aspect of the matter. The drawn out Ukrainian crisis, continued combat actions in the eastern part of the country, as rebels refuse to recognize the Ukraine’s sovereignty, and the deterioration of relations with Russia – it all continues to inflict damage on economy. The requests for more credits to be granted by the West look like blackmail. Brussels is trying to normalize at least economic cooperation between Moscow and Kiev.

Kiev understands that it does not serve its interests to expedite the implementation of the agreement. It was understood before as former President Yanukovych refused to sign the document. Petro Poroshenko tried to delay the ratification.

Brussels appears to be the main driving force to push the agreement through. The European Union was a party to the conflict from the very start dragging Kiev into the self - destructive association. Then it launched sanctions against Russia, the move that backlashed against the EU in retaliation. Now Brussels sends signals it is ready to suspend the punitive actions.

The European Union is not ready to sacrifice its well-being. This fact is corroborated by new assignments inside the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.

Complete story at - European Union and Ukraine: Geopolitical Ambitions Going Too Far > - Strategic Culture Foundation

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