Archive for April 16th, 2013

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Closed door meeting over Ukraine – Strasbourg 18th April

April 16, 2013

Not for the first time there is to be an official and rather important closed door meeting over Ukraine amongst EU leaders to discuss reports by the Cox-Kwasniewski mission to Ukraine.

The last such meeting occurred on 2nd October 2012 and neither the report nor the minutes of that meeting have ever been made public.

Whether the latest report or minutes of the meeting on the 18th April will be made public is unclear, but if it follows the precedent of the last report then it will remain something the public are not deemed  suitable for inclusion – despite the fact this report will quite clearly be a key document in the decision or not to sign the AA and DCFTA in Vilnius in November.

Further, a decision on whether to extend to Cox-Kwasniewski mission to Ukraine will be taken.

Adamantly against its extension is Elmar Brok the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the European Parliament and Rebecca Harms of the Green Party – both German if that means anything.

However there are those adamantly in favour of extending the mission until the Vilnius Summit.  It is likely to be a fractious affair – and with every man and his dog keen to take the credit for the release of Lutsenko and Filipchuk, no doubt the supporters for the extension of the Cox-Kwasniewski mission will claim (possibly quite rightly) that it is they, rather than the claims of the United Opposition and those of civil society that were most effective in engineering their release.

After all, the word “effective” can be associated with very few in civil society or the United Opposition when it comes to influencing the views and decisions of President Yanukovych.

Ergo, the Cox-Kwasneiwski mission has brought results – albeit eventually – the lack of which had been a major criticism of (the rather inflated egotistically, by way of ability and quite literally) Elmar Brok.  A major argument to end the mission now, due to lack of headway, if not removed from his arsenal then far less potent.

With Vilnius seen (even if not entirely accurately) as make or break for EU/Ukrainian relations for the next few years, the question has to be asked, conceding that some momentum has been gathered and results achieved, is it wise, literally for the sake of an additional 6 months, to disengage their mission now?

What signals would either continuing or ending their mission give considering there is little hope that their key report is unlikely to be seen by the public?

Perhaps the most important question, regardless of whether these agreements are signed or not, is how to keep any momentum going in the immediate period after the Vilnius Summit with major elections in 2014 and 2015 in the European Parliament and several influential nations driving EU/Ukrainian relations – including of course – Ukraine?

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