January 10, 2014
Relations between Ukraine and the EU today are put on a pause. There are bases to believe that only a third party will win from the continuation of demonstration of their own ambitions by Brussels and Kyiv.
The beginning of 2014 was marked by Radoslaw Sikorski’s curious acknowledgment. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and the coauthor of the Eastern Partnership concept recognized that the EU’s offer to Ukraine was not very attractive, besides, European political circles underestimated the degree of Russia’s interest in preservation of our country in the sphere of its influence. Let me remind that in numerical indicators it made up a 15 billion dollars’ credit and a 30 percent discount for gas.
Both the European Union and Ukraine will have to make conclusions from the current situation. Ukrainian prime minister Mykola Azarov has already urged members of the government to carefully analyze the Association Agreement, so that it would be possible to return to its signing sooner. Obviously, it is problematic to reconsider the text of the document initialed by both parties, therefore, the adoption of additional documents which will allow to optimize the most problematic provisions for Ukraine looks like the most probable scenario.
Certainly, consent is the product of a compromise, and for the similar scenario to take place we need the good will of not only Kyiv, but also Brussels. The European Union meanwhile enters the phase of the electoral campaign, since in May the new composition of the European parliament will be elected. Analysts predict success of eurosceptics at the future elections, which can put into question the prospects of EU rapprochement with its partners and its further enlargement.
Whether the Association Agreement with Ukraine is capable of becoming an argument in favor of the political parties standing on positions of strengthening of the unitary European family? It seems like yes, especially when our country is not only the largest European state, but its inhabitants have confirmed their commitment to rapprochement with the EU. This is testified not only by the events at Maidan, but also by the data of sociological polls.
But the European Union needs to give an answer to another question: whether it is ready to go for complications of political relations with Russia for the sake of Ukraine? The Russian Federation is the largest trade partner of the EU, and Moscow established especially confidential relations with Berlin, Paris, Rome, supported by the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot group participants. Whether the EU is ready to really fight for rapprochement with Ukraine which is now financially too weak to resist to Russia face to face. If yes, then Brussels has to give a clear political signal about this. Silence in this case will mean a consent to the entry of Russian interests into Ukraine without looking back at the European Union and its opinion.