Valeriy Kucheruk on Ukraine

Lessons of soberness

While Ukrainian politicians and experts analyze the reasons of the failure of the unscheduled session of the Verkhovna Rada on November 13, sober estimations of the current situation have unexpectedly begun to appear in Europe. Although with reference to anonymous sources in diplomatic circles.

Let us recall that the law on the possibility of Yuliya Tymoshenko’s treatment in Germany was to be considered during the session. And EU representatives constantly declare that the release of the ex-prime minister is the main condition for signing of the Association Agreement.

But let’s start with some prehistory. In all this epic with the fulfillment of conditions of the European Union by Ukraine for the successful signing of the AA, from the very beginning many observers understood that Viktor Yanukovych for his own some specific reasons won’t apply efforts to free Mrs. Tymoshenko. What are these reasons is not important now, what’s important is that this is the way it happened – Ukraine fulfilled all requirements of the EU practically by 90%, except some of them. Only questions of adoption of laws on public prosecution and elections of MPs in the second reading (probably it will be done soon) were not completely solved. And the notorious “Tymoshenko’s question” which, apparently, is going to be solved neither by the power (despite all public reassurances), nor by the opposition. Thus, the destiny of the Association depends on the solution of this question (which is actually necessary not only to Ukraine, but to the EU as well) – at least, the majority of European politicians try to convince us of this.

But why has it happened like this, and isn’t the similar statement of the question a mistake of the EU representatives about which many of them, obviously, already regret? In my opinion, as well as according to many other Ukrainian experts, it is. But the mistake of not only Europe, but that of the Ukrainian party as well – including the power and the opposition. If European politicians were told from the very beginning that for signing of the AA Ukraine is ready to do everything, apart from the solution of the problem of selective justice by means of selective justice or selective legislation, then, I think, people in Europe, those on whom the decision-making depends, would use somewhat different rhetoric. If European politicians from the very beginning were more critical about the public statements of the Ukrainian oppositionists about the need of Tymoshenko’s release, then the name of the Ukrainian ex-prime minister wouldn’t appear or would appear not so often in the interpretations of the “Fule list”. And in fact none of the leaders of the opposition needs it, because free Tymoshenko will cross out their presidential ambitions at once.

By the way, in Pet Cox and Alexander Kwasniewski joint statement, published after their interim report at the conference of presidents in Brussels, Yuliya Tymoshenko’s name already doesn’t appear any more.

Next day – on Thursday – there appeared those sober estimations of the current situation by Europeans about which I was writing at the beginning. They involved statements saying that the AA between Ukraine and the European Union can be signed before Yuliya Tymoshenko’s release, if Viktor Yanukovych takes on the obligation to resolve this issue.

This was said by the high-ranking Brussels diplomatic source of the Polish newspaper “Rzeczpospolita”. According to the informant of the edition, the final decision on the destiny of the Association will be made not on November 18-19 by Foreign Ministers of the EU countries, but probably on the eve of the summit in Vilnius. “The final decision can be made by the heads of the EU even on November 27 in Vilnius”, – convinces the source. “It isn’t even excluded that the Agreement will be signed despite the fact that Tymoshenko will remain in prison. In such a case however Yanukovych will have to take on a corresponding obligation”, – declared the informant of the edition.

It is remarkable that the position in many respects similar to this one was voiced also by the ambassador of Lithuania in Ukraine Petras Vaitiekunas in the interview to one of the Ukrainian editions on Thursday. According to him, the EU agrees to depart from the protocol and is ready to make the decision on Ukraine at the last minute, because it will help to keep Russia from the final return to totalitarianism, which is dangerous, including, for Europe as well. “Falling of such a huge unit as Ukraine in the direction of the Customs Union will lift there (in Russia) the wave of revanchism, unconfirmed, unreasonable expectations that “guys, if we managed to get Ukraine back, we can get everything back: the course of history, and reconstruct something in the counterbalance to the West”, – he explained. “For the solution of this super-task – not to lose Russia – first of all, it is necessary not to lose Ukraine”, – emphasized Vaitiekunas.

Answering the question about when the decision on the Agreement between Ukraine and the EU can be made, the ambassador of Lithuania assumed that it can occur in the last hours before the summit. “This decision will be made at the summit on November 28-29 in Vilnius. And probably this decision will be made not in the last days, but in the last hours or last minutes”, – he added.

As we can see, many European politicians and diplomats have already realized the necessity to keep Ukraine in Europe for their own safety, especially when Ukraine has actually fulfilled all requirements of the EU, apart from this one. Time will show whether similar sober assessments of the situation will be able to become more large-scale in the “collective unconscious” of Europeans, but not much time is left – only a couple of weeks.


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