Fule speaks in pardoxes over Ukraine?

July 31, 2013

Here is an interesting statement from Stefan Fule, the EU’s Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood policy relating to Ukraine and the Vilnius Summit in November.

“Of course, Ukraine will be able to sign the Association Agreement in November, it depends on the state. Position on this matter has been clearly expressed by the Council of the European Union: the country should stop selective justice, should reform the electoral law and to show progress in the implementation of the European standards.

I see a positive trend: the government understands how important agreement is for the country and for us.”

He notes positives trends, and indeed legislatively there have been several – with more critical proposed legislation scheduled for the RADA in September – though they may never come to anything more than existing on paper, such is the Ukrainian resilience to implementation which can been seen in many policy decisions born of Kyiv and rebutted by the regions.

Much more interestingly though, is his comment should the Association Agreement not get signed.

“If it does not happen, it will not diminish the role of Ukraine in the region, on the contrary – it will strengthen and create great opportunities for cooperation with all neighbors, including Russia.”

What? – Ukraine’s role in the region will “strengthen” if this agreement is not signed?

Whilst there is no denying that whether the Association Agreement is signed or not, Ukraine will indeed have a prominent role in the region regardless – many unconvinced Ukrainians may now be asking why the Ukrainian political class is so keen for it to be signed, (not to mention the EU who readily admit Ukraine is the key nation for a successful future EaP region), if in signing it, the role and opportunities of Ukraine will be less than by not signing it?

Is that comment going to help sway the majority of Ukrainian public opinion to fall firmly behind the Ukrainian political class in favour of the EU – and the metaphorical nailing of the Ukrainian flag to the EU mast?


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