Ukraine and perspectives of European integration

The Commonwealth of Independent States is the organization which arose on the fragments of the Soviet Union, provided its civilized disintegration. Many experts considered that the CIS is the turned-over card, but today the political situation has changed a little.

On October 25 the CIS summit took place in Minsk. It was preceded by the meeting of the Supreme Economic Council of the Eurasian Economic Community. Russian president Vladimir Putin has already habitually frightened Ukraine with negative consequences of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, having noticed that our country shouldn’t count on privileges and preferences at the Russian market. Putin expressed confidence that goods in Ukraine will be gathered with the help of screw-drivers under the European brands, and promised to close the way to Russia for them. First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Igor Shuvalov supported the president having assured that the countries of the Customs Union are ready to introduce the common customs tariff for Ukraine if it signs the Association Agreement with the EU.

It is interesting that Viktor Yanukovych didn’t begin to convince presidents of the Post-Soviet states of the validity of Ukraine’s choice of its way of development. He only noticed that signing of the Association Agreement will be favorable to other states of the Commonwealth as well. The reason for the statement was logical: next year Ukraine will chair the CIS. Our country was one of its founders, and is obliged to make its own contribution to the development of association of the Post-Soviet states.

Therefore Viktor Yanukovych announced a number of initiatives which Ukraine is planning to introduce as the CIS chair, having emphasized that they will be directed at the realization of interests of each state entering the Commonwealth. This approach deserves attention due to the reason that over almost 22 years of its existence the CIS was perceived in the limited space of opportunities – either as the mechanism of civilized divorce of the former Soviet republics, or as the lever of influence of the Russian Federation upon the events on the territory of the former Soviet Union. But today Moscow is rather interested in the political death of the Commonwealth of Independent States, so that it could build the Eurasian Union on its fragments. Ukraine’s interests are more pragmatic and contrary to those of Russia.

Therefore Viktor Yanukovych is going to insist on the development and adoption of the agreement on pipeline transport transit, which will allow our country to count on the renewal of energy resources deliveries from Central Asia and more effective filling of the oil pipeline Odesa – Brody. Russia, obviously, will counteract this as much as possible, and Kyiv will need the support of other CIS states. Another perspective initiative connected with Ukraine’s presidency and change of the situation is return of Georgia to the Commonwealth structure. After Mikheil Saakashvili leaves the post of the president of this country, its return to the CIS looks more realistic.

Perhaps, the main thing is as follows: development of the CIS is not hindrance of the European integration of Ukraine, but rather an opportunity to show advantages of rapprochement with the European Union and benefits from the Eastern Partnership. It is especially important in conditions when Armenia was compelled to withdraw from the rapprochement with the EU under the pressure of Russia. Unification of Europe-focused Post-Soviet republics is quite possible in the CIS framework.

 

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