Archive for April 4th, 2011

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EU/Ukraine talks again this week

April 4, 2011

Rather like an extended boxing match where there can be no end unless there is a knock out or both fighters fall to the floor exhausted unable to continue, the EU Ukraine Association Agreement negotiations go into Round 16 between 4 and 8 April.

With all the major recognised talking heads within the EU and the Ukrainian President strongly hinting they want and expect that both the Association Agreement and DCFTA will be concluded and signed this year by both parties, the negotiators must now be beginning to feel the pressure on both sides.

To be frank the EU and Ukraine have invested an incredible amount of political and media energy into these agreements since 2010 and both, for different reasons, need a successful conclusion in a timely fashion.

To conclude the negotiations this year may yet prove to be ambitious despite agreement on the vast majority of issues.  It is far easier to reach agreement on the less sensitive matters and delay the hard negotiations to the end, a point which both sides are at.

Regardless, this will not be the last round of negotiations and rightly so.  Far better to have rather miffed talking heads blustering over their missed time lines than commit erroneously to poorly negotiated agreements.

Another Ukraine conference this week is at St Antony’s College, Oxford University.  “Ukraine’s Domestic & Foreign Affairs – Quo Vadis?” – Blimey!

Unfortunately I won’t be in Oxford or I would have attended.  Quo Vadis is fairly clear as far as I can see, it is only a matter of how far and how fast in that direction Ukraine is prepared to go and how welcome it will be.

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