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Klimkin to attend DCFTA trilateral talks 1 December

November 30, 2015

It’s been a month since the last entry was made regarding the trilateral talks between Ukraine, the EU and Russia surrounding the bilateral Association Agreement and DCFTA between Ukraine and the EU.

On 1st December another round of talks occurs some 30 days prior to the full implementation of the agreement between the EU and Ukraine – this time Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin will be attending – for reasons as yet unknown (as the lest few rounds of talks have been at “expert/technical level).

Klimkin

Perhaps he is expecting one last Kremlin onslaught, one last high-stakes attempt at blackmail (of either bilateral party), or maybe some details of where The Kremlin sanctions against Ukraine will manifest – or it is probably better stated, what will actually be exempted The Kremlin sanctions so Ukraine can prepare the reciprocal actions.  Ukraine is after all, far beyond caring about the sensitivities of the Kremlin.

(It should be anticipated that if and when Ukraine gets Visa-Free short term visitor status for its citizenry, The Kremlin will cancel that status for Ukrainians in the “spirit” of reciprocity.)

As the above linked entry stated – “A large scale trade embargo toward Ukraine is all but assured by a Kremlin that perhaps still believes it can beat, threaten and coerce the current Ukrainian direction out of it – when instead with every such act, it simply beats that choice further in.

The question therefore, is how long will any such Kremlin instigated embargo upon Ukrainian goods last? The answer will be in years – but how many?

A glance at the 1990’s would suggest that as a petulant and truculent Kremlin embargoed almost all trade with the eastern European and Baltic States as they swiftly stepped out from under The Kremlin shadow, they rapidly redirected their trade flows. Naturally a free trade agreement with the EU, let alone the deep and comprehensive one that comes into force, means that Ukraine will have little option but to make the most of that opportunity (and other opportunities outside of Europe). Those certain Ukrainian businessmen that pre-war in The Donbas who would have tried to slow such a process due to their trade interests with Russia, having seen them dramatically effected by Kremlin sponsored events in the east, will also be forced to look to other markets during the (likely) forthcoming embargo years.

During the early 2000’s, similar Kremlin embargoes on Moldova and Georgia forced trade reorientation with Europe (and others) too.

The end result being that when The Kremlin relaxed and/or removed its imposed embargoes, pre-embargo trade levels never returned – with any of the nations involved.”

Is Mr Klimkin attending just in case Foreign Minister Lavrov turns up?  Thus far there is nothing in the Russian public realm that states he is attending – he probably has his hands full dealing with the latest self-inflicted Kremlin trade wounds with Turkey.  (To be sure Ukraine (and no doubt others) will do its very best to step into the Turkish trade vacuum the Kremlin sanctions and/or embargo opportunities present.)

Is Mr Klimkin’s attendance simply a symbolic statement to how seriously Ukraine takes the DCFTA issue, and with a mere 30 days prior to full implementation the Foreign Minister will attend the talks – despite there being no possible changes to the fully ratified agreements between Ukraine, the EU, and all governments of the Member States?

He is hardly attending because he happened to be in the neighbourhood (even if he did happen to be in the neighbourhood, for that’s not how these things work).

Thus it is a rather interesting announcement.

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