From the EU, With Love

Yet another remnant of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution has been picked off this week by President Viktor Yanukovych with his Moscow-friendly statement that Holodomor, the famine caused by Stalin’s policies, shouldn’t be considered ‘genocide’ because it was an indiscriminate attack).  As Ukraine’s political independence dissolves further in a series of deals in the gas sector, and with more deals anticipated across various industries, two pieces today strongly argue that the EU has wasted an opportunity with Ukraine.  

The EU Observer offers some interesting insights from an interview with Ukraine’s EU Affairs Minister on the topic:

People in my leadership are extremely pragmatic. If we don’t have real deliverables from contacts with the EU and we just see more and more pre-conditions, of course we will have closer business relations with countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. In practical terms, our markets will become closer to Russia.

The EU does not know what to do with Ukraine. It has no vision for where it sees us in the next 10 years, or 20 years. It cannot clearly decide that, together with Ukraine, the EU would be more stable and more prosperous. When it finally decides this, it may be too late. […] ‘This Eastern Partnership – it’s nothing, it’s nothing. What can you do with €50 million a year for such a country as Ukraine?’

And The Times is scathing about recent developments, blaming the ‘ineptitude’ of the EU for allowing Putin and Medvedev to cosy up to Yanukovych.

‘The pro-Russian leader has been love-bombed by President Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister, as the Kremlin has taken advantage of American indifference and European Union ineptitude to restore its dominance in Kiev.’