Valeriy Kucheruk on Ukraine

The adoption of the resolution by the European Parliament giving quite a tough assessment of Russia’s pressure on the countries of the Eastern Partnership (Ukraine among them) was, in general, positively accepted in Ukraine. We will remind that the resolution, among other things, reads the EU is ready to protect the countries of the Eastern Partnership which were exposed to “Russia’s open and escalating pressure to dissuade them from Association with the EU”.

The MEPs also asked the European Commission and the EU Council to come forward with concrete, effective measures to support Ukraine and the other partner countries. “The EU is ready to assist Eastern Partnership partners in their integration efforts by supporting the provisional application of the relevant sections of the Association Agreements or DCFTAs upon signature, unfreezing suspended loans and assistance programs following the signing or initialing of the Association Agreements or DCFTAs, and pursuing visa facilitation measures and the prospect of visa-free travel,” reads the resolution.

Moreover, the members of the European Parliament believe that the sovereign choice of the Eastern Partnership countries, which does not damage trade with Russia, should not make them face such consequences as trade and visa restrictions and also interference in frozen conflicts.

It is not a secret that such a tough reaction of the European Parliament was mainly caused by Russia’s inadequate actions towards Ukraine, which were noticeable in August. It is also not a secret that the reason for such actions of the Russian Federation was the ever growing possibility of the Association Agreement signature between Ukraine and the EU at the Vilnius Summit.

What was the reaction of the representatives of the Russian Federation to the European Parliament resolution? Traditional. “ I believe that the Russian leadership will ignore this resolution,” Russian politician Sergey Markov told the Ukrainian mass media. “We believe the European Parliament to be a gathering of inadequate windbags. We will never abandon our position. We consider the Eastern Partnership initiative to be imperial and colonial. As the countries participating in it are assigned a role of EU semi-colonies”.

At the same time, Ukrainian politicians and representatives of expert groups think that the European political institutions have to proceed with more effective measures to defend Ukraine from Russia’s economic aggression. “The EP resolution is a timely and reasonable document,” says a member of the pro-governmental Party of Regions Kateryna Berezhna. “ But at the same time I am confident that the document will really work when the paragraph urging the European Commission to develop concrete measures opposing Russia’s pressure on the Eastern Partnership countries is implemented. In this form the resolution is a very important but merely political declaration”. “This assistance for Ukraine is very clearly articulated. The other thing is that new institutional mechanisms will be applied in the future,” also stated the expert, Deputy Director at Ukrainian Razumkov Centre Valeriy Chaliy. “The Association Agreement is not only economy and trade but also a whole complex of issues which Ukraine and the EU mutually oblige to fulfill – and the issues of political cooperation and security”. Anyway, both countries- members of the conflict are looking forward to real actions of Ukraine’s European partners, or in Russia the so called “gathering of inadequate windbags”. But what they will be depends on the three sides of the triangular – Ukraine, Russia and the EU.


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