Ukraine and the EU: Politics of brutal pressure

ONE can always count on Ukrainian governments to renege and surprise.  And so it did this time. On November 21st, one week before the European Union summit in Vilnius during which Ukraine was supposed to sign an association agreement, its government suspended talks with the EU.The suspense and excitement were replaced by deep disappointment. As one Ukrainian paper put it the government managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (again). A character in Maxim Gorky’s play “On the Lower Depth” says about a mate who strangles himself: “What a song he’d spoiled”.  This was the closest Ukraine had ever come to crossing the border between Russia and the West.The official version of Ukraine’s turn around is that it could not withstand Russia’s pressure. The government cited the “benefit of Ukraine’s national security” as the reason for “resuming active dialogue with Russia and other countries of the customs union of Belarus and Kazakhstan….aimed at restoring the lost production output and trade and economic relations.” Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister and the co-author of the whole project, tweeted upon learning the news: “Ukraine government suddenly bows deeply to the Kremlin. Politics of brutal pressure evidently works”.Disappointed as they were with Viktor Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, the EU accepted his version of events. After all, Russia’s …

Link to article: www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2013/11/ukraine-and-eu-0?fsrc=rss

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