Kyiv praises EU’s ‘balanced position’ on Ukraine

  

The EU foreign affairs ministers' conclusions on Ukraine, adopted on Monday (10 February), were welcomed by a Ukrainian official, who called them "balanced" and praised the EU for avoiding the term "sanctions". The official also said Kyiv was interested in possible EU financial assistance.

 

Ashton: constitutional reform key to stop crisis in Ukraine

 

Yevgeniy Perebiynis, director of the Information department of the Ukrainian foreign ministry, welcomed "the balanced position" on Ukraine adopted by the EU foreign affairs Council on 10 February.

"The Government of Ukraine shares most approaches outlined in these conclusions," Perebiynis said according to Ukrainian media.

The Council conclusions on Ukraine may appear toothless and do not mention the word “sanctions”. EU ministers called on “all actors”, which includes the protestors, to “refrain from violence and dissociate themselves from radical actions”.

On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, French and German ministers however said EU governments had decided to keep the threat of sanctions in reserve in case the situation in Ukraine grew worse.

“Nobody wanted immediate and general sanctions. However, we decided to look again at targeted sanctions if ever the situation becomes worse, which is not the case now. By doing so, we want to send a clear signal, a clear message addressed to those the sanctions would target,” the French minister for European affairs, Thierry Repentin, was quoted as saying by Euronews.

Wary of Russian accusations of meddling in the country’s internal affairs, EU ministers called on the Ukrainian authorities to reach out for international mechanisms for crisis resolution.

“A new and inclusive government, constitutional reform bringing back more balance of powers, and preparations for free and fair presidential elections would contribute to bringing Ukraine back on a sustainable path of reforms," the Council conclusions read.

EU ministers added that when a new Ukrainian government pursuing economic and political reforms would be in place, the Union would be ready to help secure much needed financial assistance, together with international financial institutions.

‘The door remains open’

Ministers repeated that the EU was ready to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA), “as soon as Ukraine is ready”. The sentence “the door remains open for signing the AA” had disappeared since 22 January, when a violent crackdown on demonstrators prompted Commission President José Manuel Barroso to say that the EU would consider possible “actions", considered by some as a euphemism for sanctions.

Perebiynis told Ukrainian media that the country would continue deepening ties with Europe. "Ukraine confirms once again its consistent course towards European integration. We welcome the openness of the EU towards achieving such an ambitious goal as European integration," he said.

"In this context, of particular importance are the steps taken by the European Union, together with the international community and international financial institutions to provide appropriate support."

According to the news website Leviy bereg, Ukrainain President Viktor Yanukovich had only one goal in his visit to Sochi, to secure financial aid. However, he returned empty-handed, the website reported.

Russia increased economic pressure on Ukraine by drawing a link between disbursement of the next tranche of its $15 billion (€11 billion) aid package to Kyiv with repayment of a hefty gas bill owed to Russian firms.

Moscow agreed on credits and cheaper gas for Kyiv last December, but on 29 January said it would wait for Ukraine to form a new government, before fully implementing the loan.

EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Commissioner Štefan Füle was expected to return to Kyiv later on Tuesday (11 February) to help Ukraine find a way out from the political stalemate. This will be his third visit in the last three weeks.  

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Comments

An American's picture

The EU thinking here is if Ukrainian authorities don't reach out to EU international leadership then they aren't reaching out.

Charles's picture

The EU has no chance of winning the Ukraine because it has no negotiating skills nor any strategic objective whatsoever compared to Russia. Russia will never let go of the Ukraine and will do "whatever it takes" (hear that, Merkel?) to keep it. The only chance for the EU to end up with Ukraine is for the USA to go and get it for Europe and for Europe to unconditionally pay for it. But the US has no interest in going and getting the Ukraine because the US needs Russia around the world. And if the US does get the Ukraine, Russia will be as cooperative as a mortally wounded bear with a nuclear arsenal.
The only country in the world that can guarantee the neutrality of the Ukraine (as opposed to the Ukraine fully turning towards Europe) is also the US. But the US has even less interest in playing the cop in Europe while Germany pulls the chestnuts out of the fire.
In the end, the only ones who can build a Ukrainian democracy and a functioning Ukrainian State are the Ukrainians themselves, despite constant Russian meddling and permanently disappointing empty promises from the EU.

Tor Gjesdal's picture

Ukraine ' sits in the centre ', of this World. Thus of course so much tragedies in the past being 'tossed and tugged' by different Empires, etc.. But for US Imperialistic world interests there Must be a stop in meddling with Ukraine!! Russia has inherent cultural and economic ties here just like England has to USA , Canada, etc.. But even todays US top diplomats and politicians don't even really know Where Ukraine is, only that to them; Ukraine is 'held down by the Russian bear' , haha. Stupidity. Peoples all over this world ' is held down' by Elites, Oligarchs ( not only in Ukraine), World finance institutions, old Religions, etc.. The greatest portion of Russia Is also in Europe, and the best for Europe is Also Russia coming closer to EU ( if it survives). The only real " satan " in all this is USA arrogant world interference in internal affairs. Even the US peoples are telling their politicians and top leaders to come home and fix the terrible mess US peoples and the country is inn. They don't want another Iraq, Afghanistan, Viet Nam, etc., etc., on their country's very stained international record.
Ukraine has a fantastic future becoming very strongly independent and staying away from Any major group or organization including the horrendous IMF and it's dictates. IMF does not care at all about Real peoples anywhere, only to make even more billions for the people whom already have countless million and billions of $, whatever.
There is a little concern though about Germany's future thoughts and aspirations though ...hm? ( maybe just their Americanized spokespeople?)
As I mentioned back in November there could have been an option to make a portion of Western Ukraine more Autonomous though ( but only if this was done without any bloodshed), something like Crimea. Ukraine's government setting up a very sound new constitution. Having 2 Autonomous regions can be quit constructive and interesting. My experience with countless stays in Ukraine is that it's people on the average are way more intelligent and educated about this world, etc., than the average of any country I have lived and worked inn in the West. But EU/ Europe doesn't want these intelligent people to overtake jobs in western Europe, nor getting millions of more cheap labor from another Eastern European country.
Let wisdom " carry the day" and US and European Elites and Western Imperialists; Stay Out of Ukraine!!!
To sum up; Europe needs very good relations and trade with Both Ukraine and Russia. ( but don't really need much more trade with the USA, nor any more of US arrogance and selfish interests tricking other countries, nor US getting more Puppet regimes into place ...... anywhere.) ( sh.. a drone might be destined ... .. )))
Anyone also noticed Reporters Without Borders dropping US 13 places on the Freedom of Information list; to 46th, between Romania and Haiti ?