The EU’s Opaque Dealings with Ukraine
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Medvedchuk
A life cut short cannot be extended. Unlike ceasefires, including the extra 72 hours given the Kremlin-backed militants in Donbas, due to end at the same time as the EU’s ultimatum to Russia on June 30. The militants have used it for
Trust is difficult to restore once it has been lost. President Petro Poroshenko received a huge vote of confidence from Ukrainians on May 25, becoming the first president to win at the first post. The decision to extend a ceasefire which one side was not respecting was doubtless taken under pressure from the EU, and not widely understood at home. Trust in the president, and in the EU, will be undermined if the latter fails to make good its threats of sanctions this time.
The signing of the association agreement had particular poignancy coming six months and many deaths after former president Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of the accord led to the EuroMaidan protests.
Later on that same Friday, Ukrainians heard German Chancellor Angela Merkel
And if they don’t?
The concept of a legally binding agreement between two, so to speak, consenting partners which can only come into effect with the agreement of a third party is novel, and unnerving. If the journalists reporting for Ukraine’s Channel 5 and the Russian State-owned
The basic idea behind any ceasefire is surely that the parties will try to negotiate a settlement. Former president Leonid Kuchma who took part in the first negotiations
His predecessor Leonid Kravchuk
Germany might well like to consider the impression that many Ukrainians have about Merkels insistence that Viktor Medvedchuk take part in the negotiations. Transparency is always important, and this is sadly wanting in the present situation where a close associate of Putin, targeted for US sanctions over, among other things, his active support for Russia’s annexation of the Crimea is being given a major role in negotiations. The same applies to Nestor Sufrych.
The authoritative newspaper
The source is not named, and could also, of course, be wrong. On the other hand, Germany and, indeed, the EU might well consider one last claim made. Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, it is asserted, has been brought in to whiten the much tarnished image of both Medvedchuk and his Ukrainian Choice party.
Ukrainians came out onto the streets back in November 2013 appalled that Yanukovych, in the course of secret talks with Putin, had rejected the association agreement in favour of closer ties with Russia and other undisclosed incentives. A number of universities endorsed the call made by the Ukrainian Catholic University to allow students to attend demonstrations "in defence of Ukraine’s European future. A UCU lecturer and a number of students were among the many gunned down by police snipers in February this year.
It would be a bitter blow if the EU now was seen as engaged in no less opaque negotiations