EU Should Stop Silly Shouting About Ukraine

YALTA, Crimea -- At a recent high-level European Strategy meeting in Yalta, Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine and former prime minister of Russia, reportedly said it’s time the Europeans stop silly shouting and give Ukraine a definite membership date.

Russian Ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin (L) and President Viktor Yushchenko

Ukraine needs a definite prospective.

There is a certain humour and provocation in what Chernomyrdin said but there is also a certain truth in describing the EU’s lukewarm policy towards Ukraine.

He also gave the impression that Russia, at least at its public pronouncements, is relatively relaxed about Ukraine getting closer or even joining the European Union.

Now obviously NATO, of course, is a very different situation altogether.

Some analysts say that the EU needs to assure Ukraine that cooperation in different levels will lead to eventual membership.

This may help carry out much-needed reforms and carry the necessary steps to be eligible for accession.

Ukrainians are at best confused about the EU.

From Viktoriia, an airline stewardess on a flight from Brussels to Kiev to Oleg, a young student walking on Kiev’s busy Khreschatyk Street, the EU is an uncertain proposition.

A deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Natalia Prokopovich told a group of European journalists in Kiev that she visited many regions of Ukraine and “nobody knows what it means membership in the EU, or NATO. It is good. But why is it good?”

Ukraine is not united on whether it’s worth to pay the price to join the EU.

Ukrainian diplomats have repeatedly said, as if reading out of a script, that Ukraine wants more that cooperate with the EU in the framework of the European Neighbourhood policy or the extended ENP.

They want to become members.

But they also realise they have to do their homework and carry out the necessary reforms.

In this framework Ukraine is likely to join the World Trade Organisation at the end of this year and after that start negotiations on setting up the Free Trade Zone between the Ukraine and the EU.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said that Ukraine needs an EU beacon to follow. And what brighter beacon that the offer of membership.

Source: New Europe


Paul said…
That the last thing the EU is looking to do presently is to baby-sit a nation. An EU with a future is a union of nations standing on their own two feet, together. Ukraine has to learn the lessons of self-determination for itself. EU membership is an opportunity for greater levels of economic, political and social prosperity, but this opportunity will be wasted if it is seen as the "cure all". EU membership will provide greater scope for opportunity, but it's up to the Ukrainian people to undertake real transformation.