EU-Ukraine relations

The EU-Ukraine association agreement scheduled for initialling on March, 30. There are two news concerned with this event: good and bad.

The good one it that the association agreement will be ready for signing. Difficult and sometimes dramatic negotiations, lasted four and half years, will be resulted in ready text.

The bad one is that signing will not happen. EU makes it conditional upon Ukraine’s progress in democracy, rule of law, respect of human rights. Present Ukrainian authority does not show any intensions to do this. The EU also demands to release former premier-minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko and give them possibility take part in the next parliamentary elections. It seems like quite fantastic scenario as well.

During last years the EU-Ukraine relations were revolving around the negotiations on association agreement. In particular, the EU considered the agreement’s prospects like instrument to keep Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich from undemocratic steps. From his side Mr Yanukovich posed the negotiations like evidence of Ukraine’s motion toward the EU and his own pro-European aspirations.

Now everything is changed. For the EU there is no sense anymore to use the association agreement as argument. As a matter of fact it did not bring any success on the stage of negotiation, but at least there were some hopes or illusions before. Now it is disappeared finally.

For president Yanukovich next initialling will be the last opportunity for pro-European hypocritical rhetoric. Undoubtedly, his administration will try to pose this event like great Eurointegration success, although actually it is pure technical step.

So about what the EU and Ukraine will be speaking after March, 30? Seems everything has been said before and emptiness is coming to their relations. The question is for how long. The next determinative event will be Ukrainian parliamentary elections, scheduled for October. Ukraine can come back to European track upon two conditions. First, if the elections will be free and fair. Second, if pro-European parties will obtain majority in Verkhovna Rada.

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