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?..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XQbgmNLHHo&feature=youtu.be

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.

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.

Oldfogie1's picture

The above postings by Anna, Murien and Muscat reminds me of the Nazi Germany belief that if you repeat a lie often enough, it become the truth. The reason Greece is in trouble because it would not take the "medicine" prescribed by EU because it would not be popular with voters.

Ukraine is the same, and will not increase the domestic price of gas to market value for the same reason, and is going deeper and deeper into debt. When the crunch comes as it must, Ukraine will become a basket case like Greece. Russian carpetbaggers will then descend on Ukraine and buy up its assets, and eventually the country itself at a fire sale for cents in the dollar.

Yanukovych does not care, as he is not concerned about Ukraine's future, just his own. He is bleeding it dry and hiding millions in foreign tax havens, and will be long gone when the sh*t hits the fan.

Victor Smith's picture

The EU cannot afford the Ukraine to join. Let them return to theur neighbours. I cannot think of a nicer outcome. If they join the EU then the next country will be Belorussia and definitely we do not want them.

Tor Gjesdal's picture

Finally Eu admits what I have been saying all along regarding Ukraine/ EU relations. Without Russia also very much involved in agreements results will be no good for any European country. The European future Is best served by Russia also being, (not just Ukraine, Moldova, etc..) closer in trade and relations with Europe. It is to me quit clear that the best future for Europe is East all the way to China, Not West to USA anymore. There is an enormous future for Europe Eastward. But also to Africa and South America. And the Customs Union doesn't need to be a hindrance at all. One big problem with European countries is of course USA's interferences. I really hope Europe will hold out with extensive trade agreements with USA until US can grow up to face the present day global realities. Any country acting like an ' egomaniac ' has to be cured before taken serious. And we are quit aware now, after Snowden leaks, etc., etc., that US foreign relations cannot be trusted. (as All it deal with is what is Good for USA Corporate interests, etc., and really nothing else) On human rights etc., USA's behavior has also been shown clearly to be very two faced.

An American's picture

If you were to stop people on the streets in America and ask them what they think about Ukraine I would bet that ninety percent couldn't tell you the geographical location of the country. Except for a handful of diaspora nobody in the US cares what happens in Ukraine anymore than they care about what happens in Syria. Only the world's leaders that insist on playing these democracy games while speaking out both sides of their mouth simultaneously have an of up-man-ship agenda to fulfill.

Charles's picture

Excellent idea, let Germany pull the chestnuts out of the fire!

uk-sceptik's picture

why not have ukraine belaruss AND eventually Russia, together with Turkey and georgia + the former soviet republics in Central Asia: that's over a billon people to compete with china india africa and americas in the 21st century!

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David Muscat's picture

Maybe, Psychotherapie and UK Skeptic you should note that this dependence upon the Russians providing funds to the Old Eastern Bloc will be a better outcome.

The CIA is still spying on the EU Countries including all the Directors General of the EU, the Leaders of the Individual Departments as well as the MEPs and it continues to spy on the former "Eastern Bloc" and Russia with the aim of destabilising Russia so that this large country is broken up into its former clans that existed at the time of Tsar Nicholas. Snowden's leaks are a major revelation here since Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande and David Cameron are still being spied upon here.

What one does not know is how effective these tactics are operationg in reverse.

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