EU-Ukraine relations

Christmas greetings from Ukraine!

While European Union is celebrating Christmas and coming of New Year Ukrainian president finally and fully appointed new Cabinet of Ministers. It has defined the new configuration of Ukrainian government and gave some hints about further possible development of the country.

So what does the new Ukrainian government mean to EU? First of all, it means that now the accents of decision-making in the country are moving stronger towards the president and his closed team. All the key posts that are connected to financial flows in Ukraine are taken by the presidential candidates (first prime-minister, minister of finance, minister of revenue and duties, minister of energy and even minister of defense). In this case prime-minister Mykola Azarov will even have fewer possibilities for any decisions than in previous government. For many analysts it looks like president is training his team (which is not connected to the Party of Regions and any big business groups) before monopolizing all the power in Ukraine.

The key person responsible for the dialogue with EU and possible signing of Association Agreement in 2013 will now be the new minister of foreign relations Mr.Leonid Kozhara. Possible participation on this direction can make former ex-minister and current vice-premier Mr. Gryshchenko though his new responsibility is the humanitarian sphere. The other possible official speaker from Ukrainian opposition on EU direction is Mr. Grygoriy Nemyrya who is appointed the head of parliamentary committee of European integration.

It is possible to note that the influence of several big business groups (connected to energy sphere) are being reduced while one that has main assets in metallurgy and always been close to the president received very serious carte blanche in new government.

For Ukraine which is staying at the edge of new wave of economic crisis, as the rest of the Europe, new government brings more risks than hopes. It is hard to claim about the great reform potential of new ministers because they do not have such experience and (probably intentions). Some of them were not persuasive enough to return back in Ukraine the IMF stand-by loan program. Instead of government of national consensus (which could be useful to consolidate the nation before new hit of crisis) or the government of reforms (which is painful but necessary step to receive fast growth and prosperity in perspective) Ukraine got the government of interest groups. It can be dancing on the thin ice…

Take care and great holidays!



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