Archive for March 22nd, 2014


EU and Ukraine sign the political chapters of Association……What could possibly go wrong?

March 22, 2014

And so it came to pass that the political chapters of the Association Agreement have been signed by the EU, Ukraine and 28 Member States.

What could possibly go wrong?


Now a simple matter for Ukraine to change its constitution – to accommodate Article 8 of the Association Agreement for example – as I have written about previously – requiring a constitutional majority vote of 300 MPs. to repeal, amend, craft, pass and implement hundreds more laws by way of somewhat easier majority voting in the RADA.

The RADA legislative timetable now brimming when adding the normal legislative workload as well.

One wonders why interim President Olexandr Turchynov didn’t sign on behalf of Ukraine, rather than interim Prime Minister Yatseniuk?   A 2004 constitutional requirement for Ukraine – or is one interim position more constitutionally secure than the other from an internal legal challenge perhaps?

Perhaps Russia will wheel out Viktor Yanukovych as “legitimate president” one last time to denounce the signing as invalid?   Then again, it didn’t bother to make him recognise the Crimean referendum results as legitimate prior to annexation, so perhaps not.

It has to be said that not only Russia questions the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian leadership.  A reasonable number of Ukrainians both East and West are not overly convinced of the lawfulness of the current leadership either – even if recognising there must be some form of leadership until new elections take place.

Perhaps Ukrainian ratification of the agreement should at the very least wait until there is a newly elected president with far greater legitimacy?  His or her final signature on any ratification removing much doubt as to the legitimacy of this agreement amongst the domestic constituency?

Is somebody now going to explain to the public exactly what has been signed and what that means, before the Russian propaganda machine gets into gear amongst the devils in the details?

Whilst previously Russian ire has been fairly concentrated unpon the unsigned DCFTA part of the agreement, there are certainly parts of the political Association Agreement it seriously objects to as well.  What can – or perhaps more to the point, will – Russia do to prevent the ratification of these documents?

Am I destined to return to writing about the fecklessness of Ukrainian domestic politics and the inability to actually craft anything close to decent legislation – or will I be able to bask a while longer in the geopolitics that currently hold the world’s attention?

As always, time will tell – after all, what can possibly go wrong?

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