Russia, EU set to clash on causes of Ukraine turmoil

-A +A

EU leaders will tell Vladimir Putin when they meet for a summit in Brussels tomorrow (28 January) that the present Ukrainian crisis was prompted by Russian pressure on Kyiv. The Russian president is expected to counter by saying that the EU made the first move by offering Ukraine a free trade agreement and for meddling in its internal affairs.

Despite declarations that the upcoming EU-Russia summit is “not about Ukraine”, the dramatic situation in the country is expected to be at the centre of the two-hour meeting.

An EU diplomat told reporters that the Russian pressure on Ukraine, which led to the decision by President Viktor Yanukovich to put off the signature of the Association Agreement (AA) with the EU and to the subsequent protests, had prompted the political turmoil in Ukraine.

This statement augurs that the summit could degenerate into a blame game in which Putin could in return accuse the EU of trying to impose association on Ukraine and a so-called 'Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement', for which Russia says Ukraine is not ready. Russian officials say that the DCFTA would impact negatively on Russian trade relations with Ukraine and that Brussels should have consulted Moscow first.

Moscow blames the EU for sending its high officials to the Independence Square, or Maidan, in central Kyiv, inflaming protestor resentment against the authorities. Russia too has reportedly interfered in developments in Ukraine, although Moscow's ambassador to Kyiv has denied that Russian riot police have arrived in its neighbour country.

EU diplomats contacted by EurActiv said that Russia had conducted in the months preceding the Vilnius summit (see background) a massive propaganda campaign warning of catastrophic scenarios if Ukraine signed the agreement. Yanukovich announced on 21 November that Kyiv had decided to stop its preparations to sign an Association Agreement with the EU. 

According to Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister and vice-chancellor from 1998-2005, Yanukovich has always been pro-Kremlin and said that motivation for engaging in negotiations over the AA had been to raise the price that Russia would have to pay to keep Ukraine in its strategic orbit.

According to Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, the president of the centre-right EPP group in the European Parliament, after having successfully contested NATO membership for countries in its neighbourhood over the past years, Russia is now contesting in the same fashion the EU’s Eastern partnership policy, though various means of coercion.

Füle flies to Kyiv again

 

 

But now Yanukovich is under pressure from the opposition to resign and call for early presidential elections, initially scheduled for 2015. In an attempt to buy time, Yanukovich has offered one of the opposition leaders, Arseny Yatsenyuk, the post of prime minister, and to the another most prominent one, Vitaly Klitschko, the post of vice-prime minister. The two have not taken their decision yet. A special session on the Ukrainian parliament to be held tomorrow is expected to shed light on possible future developments.

Enlargement and Neighbourhood Commissioner Štefan Füle is due to return to Kyiv this evening and be present at the time when the opposition and the power in Ukraine would attempt to negotiate a way out of the turmoil. Asked by EurActiv if the Commission was advising the Ukrainian opposition to opt for power sharing, spokesperson Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen avoided a direct answer and insisted that Füle held meetings both with the opposition and the authorities. An “inclusive political process” is “decisive” for stability in Ukraine, she said.

Füle was in Kyiv last Friday and both sides reportedly praised his role as mediator.

External links: 
Advertising

Comments

an european's picture

No Mr Putin !
YOU and you alone made a deal with Janukovic to take the european union as a hostage by your blaming!

You were who “who messed up” the Ukraine turmoil!
What's influence wqas this again ?

Mr Putin is the never-fail but always the other blame President and thus has no problem to straight the bended Ukraine roods again!

Larissa's picture

Totally agree with Joschka Fischer who says that Yanukovich has always been pro-Kremlin
Why does naive Europe not assume that it was all staged between Putin and Yanukovych. As if the Russia presses Ukraine. It was just a pretext to make it look real.

An American's picture

Ukraine's economy and finances are on the brink of collapse and what did the EU offer other than hot air?

zocho's picture

Europe union does not offer to Ukraine, a free visa agreement (Nicaraguan citizens do not need a visa to enter EU), an EU candidate status or financial aid so Ukraine can transform and make its industry competitive(tiny 700 million dollars aid].EU could help to Ukraine like they helped Poland after the fall of communism( Foreign Creditors agreed to forgive about half the $33 billion that Poland owed them).Eu does not care about Ukraine.Eu hates Russia, wants Ukraine economy to stay at the level is now and to provide loans to Ukraine and use Ukrainian market to sell their product to Ukrainian people.And sure in time Ukraine will be more indebted and ever in the bigger economic crisis.
EU helped and allowed Romania or Bulgaria(the poorest and most corrupted countries to become EU members so EU shoul do the same with Ukraine.

zocho's picture

Europe union does not offer to Ukraine, a free visa agreement (Nicaraguan citizens do not need a visa to enter EU), an EU candidate status or financial aid so Ukraine can transform and make its industry competitive(tiny 700 million dollars aid].EU could help to Ukraine like they helped Poland after the fall of communism( Foreign Creditors agreed to forgive about half the $33 billion that Poland owed them).Eu does not care about Ukraine.Eu hates Russia, wants Ukraine economy to stay at the level is now and to provide loans to Ukraine and use Ukrainian market to sell their product to Ukrainian people.And sure in time Ukraine will be more indebted and ever in the bigger economic crisis.
EU helped and allowed Romania or Bulgaria(the poorest and most corrupted countries to become EU members so EU should do the same with Ukraine.

vanyam's picture

Ukraine has been used as a football by the EU, Russia and even the United States. Ukraine is the apple of Putin's eye, a place he wants to reclaim. If Putin can continue to manipulate Kyiv, he will keep the country weak and eventually own her again.

The EU is salivating over Ukraine's resources, her food and manufacturing, her mining, her cheap labor, her coastline and seaports. The EU also wants Ukraine at a bargain price.

The US wants to push its influence all the way to the Russian border and to pull Ukraine into the clutches of the IMF banksters who eventually "own" its debtors.

Ukraine should kick all parties in the teeth. Meanwhile, China just signed an agreement to take over a section of the Crimean coastline for port development and food security. Watch what happens when cheap Chinese products hit Ukrainian retailers from a Chinese trade zone such as Colon in Panama. Ukrainian manufacturing will get decimated, just as it has been decimated in the US. Will China eventually join Putin's Custom Union?

larissa's picture

It is a fact that Ukraine is today a debtor Putin's Russia

An American's picture

Quote:The US wants to push its influence all the way to the Russian border and to pull Ukraine into the clutches of the IMF banksters who eventually "own" its debtors.

No Vanyam, the US wants to get closer to Russia in order to spy and create mayhem. US corporations want to exploit Ukraine's educated work force and industry just as badly as the EU.

vanyam's picture

Read my post again.. we're saying the same thing.