Will Ukraine Join EU?

MOSCOW, Russia -- In the course of his recent visit to Tbilisi, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko said that Kiev remains supportive of the territorial integrity of Georgia and does not recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.


Thus he once again reiterated his country’s friendship with the Saakashvili regime, which the Ukrainian authorities referred to as criminal during the pre-election period.

It stands to reason that Russia is not asking Ukraine to immediately recognize the new states that appeared following the Georgian aggression of 2008.

It’s a different matter that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s obviously demonstrative statements are meant to be heard in Tbilisi and beyond.

Kiev’s present-day stance runs counter to pre-election promises of the president, becoming one of his team’s identifying features.

Back in those days, the future president voiced readiness to support the wish of Abkhazian and South Ossetian peoples to gain independence.

Having assumed power, he hastened to assure everyone that he was misunderstood.

Such behavior maintains the tradition of former Ukrainian leaders to say one thing and do the opposite.

This came in a statement by director of the Ukrainian Center for System Analysis and Forecast Rostislav Ishchenko.

"There are great many hardships in the Russian-Ukrainian relations. The current Ukrainian leaders hoped to exchange their formal political loyalty to Russia for serious economic benefits, primarily reduced gas prices. Kiev got offended when Russia turned out to be taking a more pragmatic view on things and proposing friendship on equal terms. Therefore, the Ukrainian power is now seeking to get back to its deadly policy of being stuck between the East and the West," Rostislav Ishchenko said.

Real partnership has come to a deadlock in nearly all spheres, namely the talks on Ukraine’s joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Experts say this was caused by increased pressure from the West which is not interested in the integration of Ukraine and Russia.

Another thing stirring indignation among the Ukrainians is the abandoned idea of expanding the role of the Russian language, according to Ukrainian political analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky.

"Yanukovich has lost a major part of his followers over the last 6 months, with his ratings sharply decreasing. We don’t know for sure what the reasons for this are. Perhaps, it is all about his unfulfilled pledges of developing Russian-Ukrainian relations," Mikhail Pogrebinsky assumed.

Kiev’s persistent ambition to integrate into Europe is unilateral in its character.

The European Union considers Ukraine not as a full-fledged partner but as a platform for influencing Russia.

The West is mostly interested in preventing the two from establishing a joint center of power and development to compete with NATO.

At the same time, Ukraine is not going to be accepted into the EU in the nearest future.

The overpopulated Europe is even going to suspend membership of Romania, Bulgaria and maybe Greece. Ukraine would become a big hindrance in this context.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and Russia still need each other. Most Ukrainians are seeking good relations with the EU and the closest possible ties with Moscow.

However, much is being done to fix the situation: the sides signed a new agreement on the rearmament of the Crimea-based Russian Black Sea Fleet, even though this was accompanied by skyrocketing rental fees.

The main problem facing Kiev is not Viktor Yanukovich’s failure to live up to his pre-election promises, which is a rather common thing in modern politics.

Balancing behavior between Russia and the West seems to be an attempt to keep a foot in both worlds, securing both material preferences and EU membership.

So far, this has only played into the hands of oligarchic circles and the political elite.

They want to feel like an independent part of the European establishment, preserving economic stability at the expense of Russia.

Source: The Voice of Russia

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