EU-Ukraine relations

Hello, dear readers!

In my blog I will inform you about the main political and other events, trends, situations in Ukraine. I will also give some information about our friendly neighbors, especially, Russian Federation. We will also analyze all the other topics related to geopolitics, foreign policy of EU, Ukraine and other countries, economic, social, technological and security trends. I am open for the dialogue and hope to hear your requests and criticism about the information you would like to know on Ukraine and the Eastern European region. Let’s call it interactive analytics and communication.

So what do we have this week? Our government has resigned after the scandal Parliamentary elections because part of the ministers is going to return back to new Parliament. President as promised named the new candidate for the post of prime-minister….and it appeared to be again Mykola Azarov. So central authorities does not seriously want to change the rules of political game in Ukraine. By the end of this week we will probably see the new government. I bet that most of ministers will be the same. Interesting moment – whether the Communist Party will receive any posts in the government or on the high level of state service (for example, the place of Head of State Customs Service of Ukraine – good financial possibilities). If “yes” – then they form stable coalition with Party of Regions. If “no” – they will not be in coalition and each voting in the Parliament will be a separate performance with unknown end.

Other sensitive moment of last week – is a whole set of announcements from Ukrainian top politicians and state-servicemen about the growing possibility of integration to Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Interesting thing – all of them appeared just after the information about the real possibility of signing the Association Agreement between EU and Ukraine in 2013. So it is not hard to guess who is staying behind the entire information wave about Customs Union. According to Russian forecasts Ukraine will finally join Customs Union in 2015.

Behind the curtain of geopolitical games Ukraine is turning to police state – as opposition claims. At the same moment the voted law project of state budget of Ukraine for 2013 (supported by the old Parliament – the new one will start it work on the 12th of December) is transferred to the President for the signature. It should be noted that the level of budget deficit for 2013 is about 50,4 billions of hryvnas (about 6,15 billions of USD). So most people in the country are quite worried about the financial perspective of Ukraine and their households for the next year. Too bad the Christmas is near and the gift from Santa can be not very optimistic.

Anyhow I will keep informing you about all the key events in Ukraine.

Take care!

 

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Comments

  1. Privit, Roman!
    Ukraine is one of the countries that I feel emotionally attached to. I love it’s people and the land. My heart aches when I see what is going on there.
    With all due respect to the Russian people, Putler (Putin, the new Hitler) spawns his webs and has a master plan for almost all of the former Soviet states that Mother Russia lost. Ukraine is the biggest, the grandest prise of them all. The Russians still can’t swallow the loss of this great land. They try anything and everything to make it a failed state.
    You see, given the traditionally Western mentality of the Baltic countries, they were the only ones that escaped the iron brotherly grip of the Russians. Not for long though. There are large ethnic Russian communities in all 3 states that would act as a time bomb to destabilize them when the time is right. The fate of being so close to Russia is that you can never be sure for your own security or independance. As soon as the EU and NATO grow weak enough the danger for their independance will appear again.
    Belarus is practically a Russian vassal state. Lukashenko has done a fine job of erasing anything Belarussian in his country. Whatever the tsars, emperors, and communist couldn’t do, he will finish.
    In Central Asia Kazahstan, Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan all conform with whatever Moscow orders. Kyrgyzstan tried to diversify their options and quickly was sucked into a civil war thanks to the long arm of the Russian aparatus. The new government there will pull the country closer to Moscow. I don’t have much info on Turkmenistan, but considering the fact that it has a totalitarian government, I am sure it finds a lot in common with Putler’s government.
    Armenia has been a traditional ally of Russia, they have no other choice since Russia historically has been a guarantor of Armenian independance. It is quite frankly the only thing that stops the Azers from the east and their ethnic kin the Turks from the West from overrunning the country. Azerbaijan fears Russia and for the most part complies. Georgia lost a lot from trying to be friends with the West. Mother Russia does not easily forgive betrayals like this – I guess no NATO or EU for them. They paid a heavy price as Abhazia and South Ossetia were lost. Chechnya also tried to escape the bear hug – after two brutal wars they are also “pacified”. You don’t mess with the Russian bear and comrade Putin. Now he applies the carrot and stick policy with the Caucas republics within the Federation. The Federal government uses tremendous amounts of money to rebuild the region and people there live much better than the ethnic Russians within the Federation. Just look at new Grozny! In Chechnya, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine (yes, Ukraine) Putler has his “feudals” who control the masses and pay homage to Moscow. In a way this even works better for the Russians than the former Soviet Union. They don’t have to spend money on those countries, don’t have to defend them, don’t have to deal with their complex ethnic problems, which got the Russians in a mess earlier (Armenian-Azer, Uzbek-Kyrgyz and other ethnic tensions), still they execute control over all of the former Soviet Union states. You’ve got to give Putler credit for that. He is not a dumb man.
    Ukraine is a torn country. A country of controversy. It’s people I find a lot of times confused and vulnurable. They have a kind slavic heart and soul, which is easily exploited and abused. For centuries the Ukrainian peasant worked his land under Russian, Polish, Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman rule. Like I said above – it is tough being Russia’s neighbor.
    I had a real hope for Ukraine after the Orange Revolution. However, young and new democracies tend to be very fragile and easily exploited. They fell victim of Russia’s games. It’s not so hard as there is a substantial Russian minority there. Especially in the east. I was at a football match at the EC in Kharkiv and was embarassed to hear shouts from half the stadium “Rosiya, Rosiya” when it was Denmark and the Netherlands playing. It is hard to find Ukrainian nationalists in the lands of the righthand shore of the Dnipro. I guess my wife is one of the few. Not that there aren’t Ukrainians living there. I just didn’t see much pride in them being Ukrainian. I saw people insisting on speaking Russian in arguing with government officials who spoke Ukrainian as a way to put them down. The official switched to Russian to make her point. You see, as I understand it, Ukrainian has been considered the language of the peasants, the uneducated people, speaking Russian gives you somewhat of a platform to look people down upon. Nevermind that a lot of them can’t even speak proper Russian but use a terrible mix of both Russian and Ukrainian that makes a native Ukrainian’s ears hurt and confuse a person somewhat familiar with both languages. After awhile I started speaking surzhik as well.
    I was there 5 years ago, and this summer again. It seems there are more Russian speaking channels than before. There are still talk shows debating which language should be used. A man would ask another in Ukrainian, and the second man would answer in Russian. The Russian minority makes no effort to learn the language of the land. They think it is only a matter of time when this will be a part of Russia again. I was in the Crimea this summer and heard a bunch of babushkas asking each other whether their team (they used the word “nashi”, “ours”) won last night. The conversation was in Russian, but silly me tried to remember whether Ukraine played the night before. Then it struck me, it was Russia that played. The “nashi” lost to Greece. Me and my wife were glad 😉
    There is no hope for Ukraine with this president. He can’t even speak proper Ukrainian. Nevermind the Prime Minister Azarov. Why are they calling him Mykola, when his name is Nikolay (the Russian version of Mykola). I didn’t even hear him speak Ukrainian while I was there.
    I am afraid to say that the only way for Ukraine to retain its independance, join EU and NATO would be to split along the Dnipro. It would suck for me, as my in laws would end up in Russia, but I just don’t see how Ukraine can have an independant governmet when more than 20% of the population who are ethnic Russians and more than 30% of Russian wanna be, brain washed Ukrainians and ethnic minorities who are afraid of Ukrainian nationalism look to Mother Russia for help. Russia prospers because of the high prices of commodities. Many Ukrainians look up to Russia and Russians, because they hear there are no economic problems like in the EU. One can earn over $1000 per month working in Moscow. My wife’s uncle went there with his wife. Russia makes it easy for Ukrainians to go there. It acts as the good mother letting her mischievous child come back to her after playing outside with the bad guys. They have a paternalistic attitude towards the Ukrainians. This is deceiving though.
    I realize my post turned out to be way too long. I apologize for that. It will be a pleasure for me to discuss any topics on Ukraine with you!

  2. Dear Milen!

    Thank you for exact, truthfull and emotional analysis of the current situation in Ukraine. I agree with you on most points. It will be a great pleasure for me to discuss with you any topics you would like about Ukarine, too. This blog is created to help people know real situation in the country. So feel free to put in the air any questions for discussion )))

  3. Djakuju, Roman!
    One more thing. Putin realized that the greatest weapon he’s got to control Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and even the West is Russia’s vast natural resources. Recently Bulgaria, a EU member, got its arm twisted to sign the South Stream pipeline project. That along with the North Stream that transports natural gas under the Baltic straight to Germany. Despite Yanukovich’es try to be friendlier with Moscow, Putin wants to show the Ukrainians that no one messes with him without a punishment. Using the typical Russian mentality he spares no money at it. Those two projects would by pass Ukraine as the main transit country of Russian energy source. So essentially, Ukraine will turn from a country that was needed by Russia to a country that needs Russia. Once Ukraine becomes useless for Russia’s transport needs, Ukraine’s independance will be in even greater peril. It will never be allowed to align itself with the West, yet it would be left at Russia’s mercy to do whatever they she pleases with her.

  4. Bud’-laska, Milen,
    I think your position on North and South streams makes sense but there is the other side of the coin. Even current Ukrainian authorities had to search for the real gas diversification that led to the practical steps. First of all, I shall mention the deal between Naftogaz and German company RWE about transporting to Ukraine 5 billions of gas cubic meters in 2013. It is also the technological transfer from using gas to using coal for generating heat and electricity. It is also the beginning of gas production on Ukrainian Black sea shelf and etc. Russia has obviously started to loose the Ukrainian gas market (reduction in 2013 to 26 billions cubic meters from 40 in 2010). I guess Russian authorities now are really worried how to save their influence on Ukrainian gas market. And that is the big question for them.

  5. I did not know the fact that Ukraine was diversifying its energy sources as well. That ought to make it less dependent on Russian gas.

  6. I really hope it will help Ukraine to reduce the gas dependence from Russia. The trend that Russian government started to worry about loosing Ukrainian gas market proves that Ukraine finally began to make right steps in energy sphere.

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