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EU – Ukraine. On the threshold of crucial decision…

Posted Aug. 02, 2013, at 7:09 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2013, at 1:51 p.m.

The beginning of XXI century became the time of civilized choice. Using temporal historical categories, it’s possible to assert an availability of a swift arrangement of the world on the basis of the world-view approach to the states’ future development. Within the limits of such trend, the European Union exists, the Eurasian Union (EAU) is being formed; the Muslim world is covered by idea of caliphate creation.

Currently on a map of Europe, as a matter of fact, there is only one “swing” state. It’s a matter of Ukraine. Despite its formally independent status this country doesn’t possess sufficient possibilities to conduct independent politics tricks on a world scene. It has surely certain economic potential. However, national economy and financial sector of this country have seriously suffered following world financial crisis and from imperfection of state system of governance. Today situation in Ukraine is so that it can’t bear any more to be out of economic amalgamation. Balancing possibility between two essentially different systems of social development has already been exhausted. The current president of Ukraine would hardly manage that his predecessors could not implement, notably to keep multivector foreign policy maneuvering skillfully between Washington, Brussels and Moscow.

Owing to great number of geopolitical factors the Ukrainian choice of further development way is of serious interest both for Europe and for Russia. But within the limits of new concept of Russian foreign policy that directs at new empire creation and at resistance to the West influence not only on its own territories, but also on whole post-Soviet area, it’s hard to overestimate role and place of Ukraine. Without this country with its huge territory, population, resource and industrial potential creation of new powerful empire on the post-Soviet space is out of the question. Therefore in fight for keeping of influence on Ukraine Russia operates uncompromisingly and decidedly. EAU member-states using difficult economic situation of Ukraine (mainly Russia) are insistently involving it in the Customs Union and promising substantial economic gains, but no conditions in the field of observance of democratic principles, rights and freedom.

All major political players understand that 2013 is defined as important for future development of Ukraine. According to European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Füle Vilnius Summit is the last “window of chances” and it is limited because of in case of failure there is no plan “B”.

In opinion of all international experts if Ukraine doesn’t manage to conclude EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, it will not be able to remain further out of large economic amalgamation any more. In this case it will be compelled to integrate into Eurasian Economic Space, so inevitably it will get under influence of the Kremlin. This will cardinally strengthen empire ambitions of Russia and lead to considerable strengthening of its role on international scene.

The closer to Vilnius Summit the stronger there is pressure of northern neighbor on Ukraine. Now it has become fierce character with elements of frank blackmail. Without all diplomatic reverence the president of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin into the mouth his adviser Sergey Glazyev has delivered an ultimatum to Ukraine – if the Ukrainian authorities sign EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Russia will cancel all economic benefits for Ukraine on Russian markets, markets of Customs Union and CIS countries. At the same time known Russian politicians keep actively discussing of the European choice of Ukraine predicting it rapid default in case of Agreement with Brussels by analogy with Greece and Italy.

In these conditions being under strong pressure Kiev has been compelled to agree on signing of Memorandum on Enhancing Cooperation between Eurasian Economic Commission and Ukraine, and in such way having received member- status of observer in Eurasian Union. We should understand that Kiev has made this reverence to the Kremlin in reply to sharp strengthening of political and economic pressure. At the same time, not looking at insistent proposition to join neogenic geopolitical association, Ukraine does not do it using only status of observer. This fact shows quite definitely desire of Kiev for keeping European vector of development and for signing EU-Ukraine Association Agreement avoiding direct confrontation with Moscow.

And what’s about European Union? While the Kremlin uses any possibilities to keep Ukraine in sphere of its influence, EU doesn’t give any positive signals showing interest in the promptest signing of Association Agreement. Marking certain progress of obligations’ performance taken by Ukraine the European officials react to its successes on this way enough standoffish. During short period before Vilnius Summit they demand strict performance of all put conditions. It would be very dangerous to take such uncompromising stand and make excessively high demands for signing of Association Agreement in such politically difficult time for Ukraine.

So, whether it’s possible that decrease in EU-Ukrainian dynamics at a final stage before the Vilnius summit means that the European leaders at heart wish Mr. Putin to tear to pieces his opponent – Janukovich, forcing the latest to change a vector of Ukraine towards the Customs Union? It may well be that they incline to such situation will relieve the Bruxelles overloaded with own problems from the Ukrainian issue, and will allow to yield Ukraine without damage to own image?

However, this won’t happen! Right now EU should activate all possible political, economic and diplomatic levers to create a situation for both parties, saving face, to sign the Association Agreement in Vilnius. So must be upheld, even in spite of the fact that for Ukraine signing of this Agreement would be unconditional advance. It is necessary to note, such advance would be smaller as compared with prospects obtained by the former socialist countries at their introduction to EU in 2004. As it is already clear, such expectations were quite justified.

Simultaneously, the European politicians should realise accurately, that leaving to the Kremlin’s orbit and, as consequence, strengthening of imperial ambitions of Russia shall be an alternative move rather signing of the AA with Ukraine. Therefore decision-making on a choice by Ukraine of its political vector will have crucial importance for the European community as a whole.

I’d like to believe, that European politicians and the Bruxelles officials will show wisdom and incur responsibility for necessity of signing of the consequential Agreement, capable to change political alignment of forces in Europe and to strengthen its safety.

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