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More mixed messages from the EU towards Ukraine

January 17, 2010

http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/29825/

“If [Premier] Yulia Tymoshenko and [Regions Party leader] Viktor Yanukovych enter the second round, then the question of Ukraine’s future membership of the EU should be decisive in the second round of the election. Would you like to join the EU? This is the first question that I would like to ask both [candidates]. I think that this is not a question for Tymoshenko – she has answered it many times. I know that Yanukovych has mentioned this several times, but I would like to see what he will tell the Ukrainian people on TV: ‘If I become president, we will try to join the EU. This is what our friends in the EU are waiting for,'” David said in Brussels in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

Dear readers……I am starting to believe the EU political set-up is designed soley for politicians either so useless or so removed from reality that it simply exists to keep them employed and save them embarrassing themselves on home soil.

I really do not think the first and most important question for either candidate which makes it into the second round will be about EU membership or aspirations to do so, as far as the average Ukrainian citizen is concerned.  I think they have a number of other concerns much more immediate and much more domestically orientated that they would like addressed and actioned.

What planet is he on?…….Or is he just naturally gifted at being an obnoxious, egotistical, ignorant and arrogant twat?

As he goes on to say………

“While Ukrainian politicians are fighting each other, as they are doing – beating and killing each other- these leaders are very happy, because they don’t have to raise the Ukrainian issue. You are destroying yourselves, and while it is happening, we, the EU, don’t have to raise the issue of membership.”

That is of course what “friends in Europe are waiting for“…….Having to shift uncomfortably in their seats……should Ukraine ever make the grade……..and find other reasons to keep it out?

How can a “friend” be someone who is relieved to see another “friend”……in his words……”beating and killing” itself?  A friend would not be relieved to see this happen even if there was no way it could help…….but as he then says, the EU is quite happy this is happening.

What sort of message is this?

We are your friend but happy to see you are beating yourself up, allowing us to avoid making decisions?

If the EU has a policy towards Ukraine, that policy is the policy regardless of the winner of the election.  The strategy may change, the timescale may change,  but the policy does not.

There is either a policy or there is not.  There is nothing wrong with having  policy and then scrapping that policy……..but there is no “halfway house” policy as that is neither carrot or stick.

Yet more mixed messages from the bowels of the EU towards Ukraine…….unless of course, being a friend and watching another friend’s pain is some from of sadomasochistic reality enjoyed by the hierarchy of the politicians in the EU……..and not too many people are likely to find solice in such affection from a friend.

The EU needs to state quite clearly and directly……now that it has a figurehead for it’s foreign policy in Cathy Ashton…….what it’s position is towards Ukraine…….without any “if’s”, “but’s” or “maybe’s”.

Whoever wins this election will only have a 5 year term……10 years if re-elected but that it all.  It is not a long time when it comes to either progress in the EU or Ukraine, so EU policy has to be a policy which is long term orientated.

It can be short on detail, there is no need to worry about the nuances.  Ukraine will be welcome to join with open arms or it won’t.  That is the policy statement…….nothing more.

After that it is up to Ukraine to get it’s house in order to meet the standards and generate the public support required to join and with a mandate to do so.  That is Ukraine’s business and is hardly likely it will reach those standards in the next 5 years…….so who wins is irrelevant to EU policy and only relevant to strategy and timeline.

Lame statements along the lines of “doors being left open” are not the same as “you will get entry when you meet the standards and your people want to”.  One is definite and the other is ambiguous.  One is a policy statement, the other, an uninspiring maybe.

If the plan is one of association but not full entry……just say so.

Baroness Ashton, as the mouthpiece for the EU on foreign affairs, there is no need to have a long oratory over anything, just a simple, short statement for the people of Ukraine and the EU to know what the EU intentions are towards Ukraine…….it does not matter what the Ukrainian intentions are towards the EU as that should not set your policy.

Now would be a very good time to give such a statement.

5 comments

  1. Sadly whether Ukraine wants to be in NATO or not will not be the decision of Ukraine.

    NATO is not like the EU. The EU does things by consensus and negotiation. It only takes a single NATO member to disapprove of Ukraine joining and they cannot join. It has to be a 100% approval rating.

    Quite simply, for the next 10 years or more, NATO could not afford to upgrade Ukraine militarily enough for it to join.

    This does not take into account nations like Germany and Italy who do not want Ukraine to join at least until their direct gas pipelines from Russia (avoiding Ukraine) are operating.

    If the EU does not want Ukraine then there is no chance of NATO membership either…..as NATO need just one objection from an existing member to stop it……which takes us back to Germany and Italy.

    Spain will also be against paying more into the NATO coffers for any expansion.

    Ukraine cannot afford the financial bill which comes with NATO membership either at the moment.

    It is stuck quite literally between a rock and a hard place.


    • About military development of Ukraine and its readiness. In 2005 Romania, the NATO-member country, has MIG-17 “NATO reporting name: Fresco” still in use. And in Ukraine, it was my grand-father who worked with such planes in distant 1960s-1970s. And since Ukraine’s independence there is no such old aircrafts in Ukraine’s Army. Ukraine uses MIG-29 “Fulcrum”. So about military readiness of Ukraine, I’d say Ukraine is much more ready then Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, or Croatia.
      But the problem is, that some NATO-members as France, Germany and Italy are against Ukraine joining NATO. And guess why? Because of Russia, first of all!


  2. NATO members which are not EU members: Iсeland, Norway, Albania, Croatia, USA, Canada, Turkey.

    EU members which are not in NATO: Austria, Ireland, Finland, Sweden.

    You know, I don’t want that my country, my motherland, becomes a buffer zone. OK?
    I don’t care if United Kingdom is a 51st State of the USA, or it isn’t.
    As for me, I want Ukraine to be in NATO, and to have an FTA and EEA and a free visa zone with the EU.


  3. I would agree that the EEA and FTA is as fa as kraine needs to go. The prblem then comes with NATO membership though.
    How many nations are in NATO and not the EU?
    How many are in the EU which are not in NATO?
    Only Turkey comes to mind and that is because it is stragic not only in location but it is also Muslim.
    Ukraine provides a convenient and large buffer between the EU and Russia…..convenient for both sides I would add.


  4. I don’t think that the EU wants Ukraine. I think the EU just wants to use us, and that’s all. That’s why they don’t want to give us some prospect of membership. I think Ukraine should forget about the EU. But Ukraine should work hard to be accepted to the NATO. At least, the NATO said officially, that Ukraine and Georgia will be members of NATO.



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