Berlin urged to step in over EU's relations with Ukraine, Russia

  

Berlin must take on an active, coordinative role between Brussels and Moscow, said an official from Germany's Eastern European economic relations committee, adding that an EU-Russia summit, like the one that happened on Tuesday (28 January), is definitely not constructive, EurActiv Germany reports.

"In hindsight it was not very smart, how talks on the association agreement were conducted," said Eckard Cordes, chairman of the committee on Eastern European economic relations, in a statement to EurActiv Germany.

On Tuesday (28 January), the EU hosted the biannual EU-Russia summit in Brussels. At the event, President Putin stressed that Ukraine would not dominate discussions, focusing instead on the Eastern Partnership (EaP).

But in Cordes' view, even the latest EU-Russia summit was not constructive in remedying the situation Ukraine.

"These short meetings – fly in, talk, fly out – are not enough at all and definitely not constructive. Time is needed to form a stable basis for relations. In that regard, there is no difference between economic and political life.

A two-and-a-half-hour summit like that is not what is needed to establish good, friendly relations, the chairman of the committee said.

In a speech at the summit, European Council President Hermann van Rompuy made it clear that the EU's Association Agreement is compatible with Russia's Customs Union (see background).

But despite developments at the EU summit, Ukraine is still likely to face an 'either-or' decision with regard to economic ties, Cordes said.

"Russia cannot be ignored as a factor in Ukraine", said Cordes, a solution must be found, in which an association agreement can be concluded with the EU without posing a risk to Ukrainian-Russian economic relations.

Berlin must push for trilateral talks

Cordes said he did not see any potential for a real solution when one of the most important parties, Ukraine, is not present: "A solution can only be reached when all three regions – Ukraine, Russia and the EU – are included. And not under the motto: either you go here or there. That is inconceivable and will not work!"

Nevertheless, according to Cordes, certain positive signals can be interpreted from the summit concerning trilateral talks between Ukraine, Russia and the EU: "I am only cautiously optimistic that, after this Tohuwabohu [confusion], common efforts can be determined to calm the situation."

Here, the German government must take on an active and coordinative role as an intermediary in the situation between Ukraine, Russia and the EU, according to the committee chairman.

"We must finally enter into trilateral talks," Cordes emphasised.

The economic repercussions of the Ukraine crisis

In addition, the economics expert warned, Europe should not be allowed to disintegrate into individual economic blocs, the committee chairman warned.

The previous position of Brussels and Berlin, to exclude a member of the Customs Union from an Association Agreement, is the wrong one, Cordes contended: "We must increase talks with Russia and the Customs Union concerning a common economic architecture."

"The division of Europe into various economic zones is not timely", emphasised Cordes.

"If Europe wants to play a role in the next twenty years, we must overcome such narrow-mindedness. We need a European area that is fused together and cooperates closely – even with Russia," Cordes told EurActiv Germany. "We must throw Europe's combined economic power on the scale."

Meanwhile, 40% of companies included in the latest business climate survey conducted jointly by the committee on Eastern European economic relations and the German-Russian foreign trade chamber, believe the political conflict between the EU and Russia over the future orientation of Ukraine will have a negative effect on their business.

The survey was carried out just a few weeks ago, before the escalation of violence and the deaths. No doubt, results would show much more concern if the same study was conducted now.

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Comments

Babeouf's picture

I have always assumed that the EU's expressed desire to marginalize Russian in European affairs( get your gas from elsewhere, break off states from Russia's orbit etc) was just a continuation of the Cold War. In which European policy is determined in the USA. For all the blather of European flunkies the semi colonial status of Europe was made clear, to all those that wished to know, by Snowden. But they chatter on regardless ,European politicians 'must do this or that or the other'. When as the world knows in European foreign policy 'Europe politicians propose the US Presidents dispose'.

Anna's picture

Merkel called Putin and asked to help Ukraine .
Arayik Sargsyan, Academician, President of the Academy of Geopolitics ...

President of Ukraine in a telephone conversation with U.S. Vice President J. Biden , he said that he performed Maidan conditions . But maydanovtsi still standing ? It seems that it's time to go home.
Company leaders were surprisingly weak. No clear program of action . They want to sew Yanukovych genocide against his people. Power to provoke the use of force . Hoping for the support and the EU and the U.S.. Maidan turned into a perpetual failure . Based on the weight proved a miscalculation .
But suddenly, President Yanukovych ill. Rather, it is a political disease . Huge load . Responsibility unreal . Pressured from all sides . All blackmailed . People - civil war , the Russian Federation - the money , the EU - sanctions. Within the government and observers have a very active , which is not good . Ukrainian oligarchs insured. They do not care who will be president . Buy any. This is their philosophy . In such a situation does not get nervous breakdown?..

David Muscat's picture

We do not want the Ukraine in the European Union.

Their debts are so huge - €200 Billion it is said by many - that they would place an unerving imbalnce on the whole of the EU economy, and as a result the influx of the poorest there to the EU would be unparalleled at over 4 million within the first 6 months.

David Muscat's picture

We do not want the Ukraine in the European Union.

Their debts are so huge - €200 Billion it is said by many - that they would place an unerving imbalnce on the whole of the EU economy, and as a result the influx of the poorest there to the EU would be unparalleled at over 4 million within the first 6 months.

David Muscat's picture

We do not want the Ukraine in the European Union.

Their debts are so huge - €200 Billion it is said by many - that they would place an unerving imbalnce on the whole of the EU economy, and as a result the influx of the poorest there to the EU would be unparalleled at over 4 million within the first 6 months.

an european's picture

@Anna
Partially I agree with David Muscat!
Since Russia is a Powerfull Federation it seems they don't have any problems to bailout UKR in contrary to E.U. which isn't one!
Actually because of this lack of federal policies the E.U. locals economies are facing more or less 0% of growth with rising jobless inluding that there are no european depth interst rates pooling in the E.U. !
But the federal American's one is growing at 3.2% nor they don't have problems even with their 16 Trillions of depth! The Fed can print basically "unlimited" money !Somethin' the E.U. cannot doin' in that amount!
The Europoean Union still need to combine effectievely theirs economies in one powerful Unity !

Karel Yurian's picture

Anna: You are absiolutely right there.

We in Bulgaria did not want to join the Eu for their fiscal policy will drive us in to the mire that befell Greece.

The Bulgarian Mafia is currently bagging up its money and sending it across to the EU safe havens like Malta and Svaalbad and Gibraltar so as to avoid the taxation issue sand because they have €Trillions to hide.

The same is also happening in Romania and the old Yugoslavian Territories.

In this respect i now have to agree with Chancellor Merkel, let the Russians bail them out.

It is a pity that we in Bulgaria ever joined the EU. I read of the fact that many people there cannot now afford to live there any more because of the Carpet Baggers from the Uk and Holland buying up property at phenomenally cheap prices and then inflating them so that they can be holiday homes. There are also so-called "Born-Again Christians" from these countries who are attempting to gain access to these properties under the pretext of religion but on the back of prosperity messages (theirs) and this is a traversty. Then there are the others who are just seeking a mechanism for second third fourth and other houses and are using the system to make these homes theirs (because they are cheaper than buying holiday packages with the result that no income is generated in Bulgaria at all.

Karel Yurian's picture

Anna: You are absiolutely right there.

We in Bulgaria did not want to join the Eu for their fiscal policy will drive us in to the mire that befell Greece.

The Bulgarian Mafia is currently bagging up its money and sending it across to the EU safe havens like Malta and Svaalbad and Gibraltar so as to avoid the taxation issue sand because they have €Trillions to hide.

The same is also happening in Romania and the old Yugoslavian Territories.

In this respect i now have to agree with Chancellor Merkel, let the Russians bail them out.

It is a pity that we in Bulgaria ever joined the EU. I read of the fact that many people there cannot now afford to live there any more because of the Carpet Baggers from the Uk and Holland buying up property at phenomenally cheap prices and then inflating them so that they can be holiday homes. There are also so-called "Born-Again Christians" from these countries who are attempting to gain access to these properties under the pretext of religion but on the back of prosperity messages (theirs) and this is a traversty. Then there are the others who are just seeking a mechanism for second third fourth and other houses and are using the system to make these homes theirs (because they are cheaper than buying holiday packages with the result that no income is generated in Bulgaria at all.

Karel Yurian's picture

Anna: You are absiolutely right there.

We in Bulgaria did not want to join the Eu for their fiscal policy will drive us in to the mire that befell Greece.

The Bulgarian Mafia is currently bagging up its money and sending it across to the EU safe havens like Malta and Svaalbad and Gibraltar so as to avoid the taxation issue sand because they have €Trillions to hide.

The same is also happening in Romania and the old Yugoslavian Territories.

In this respect i now have to agree with Chancellor Merkel, let the Russians bail them out.

It is a pity that we in Bulgaria ever joined the EU. I read of the fact that many people there cannot now afford to live there any more because of the Carpet Baggers from the Uk and Holland buying up property at phenomenally cheap prices and then inflating them so that they can be holiday homes. There are also so-called "Born-Again Christians" from these countries who are attempting to gain access to these properties under the pretext of religion but on the back of prosperity messages (theirs) and this is a traversty. Then there are the others who are just seeking a mechanism for second third fourth and other houses and are using the system to make these homes theirs (because they are cheaper than buying holiday packages with the result that no income is generated in Bulgaria at all.

Karel Yurian's picture

Anna: You are absiolutely right there.

We in Bulgaria did not want to join the Eu for their fiscal policy will drive us in to the mire that befell Greece.

The Bulgarian Mafia is currently bagging up its money and sending it across to the EU safe havens like Malta and Svaalbad and Gibraltar so as to avoid the taxation issue sand because they have €Trillions to hide.

The same is also happening in Romania and the old Yugoslavian Territories.

In this respect i now have to agree with Chancellor Merkel, let the Russians bail them out.

It is a pity that we in Bulgaria ever joined the EU. I read of the fact that many people there cannot now afford to live there any more because of the Carpet Baggers from the Uk and Holland buying up property at phenomenally cheap prices and then inflating them so that they can be holiday homes. There are also so-called "Born-Again Christians" from these countries who are attempting to gain access to these properties under the pretext of religion but on the back of prosperity messages (theirs) and this is a traversty. Then there are the others who are just seeking a mechanism for second third fourth and other houses and are using the system to make these homes theirs (because they are cheaper than buying holiday packages with the result that no income is generated in Bulgaria at all.

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