Over the past week the West has made clear to Ukraine that in the near future we do not expect either the EU or NATO. This is indirectly confirmed by the visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Ukraine last July 12-13, the summit Ukraine-EU in Kiev. And the reason is not only that we have been slow to carry out reforms to fight corruption, as in Russia. The EU does not want a direct confrontation with Moscow over Kiev, trying once again not to irritate the Kremlin. Attempts of the Ukrainian side to include in the final Declaration of the summit the reference to the EU’s support of Ukraine’s European aspirations, European leaders perceived negatively. It ended up that the second time in the history of Ukrainian-European summits General statement and not made public, but EU leaders have left from the answer to a question of journalists on the affirmation by the EU of Ukraine’s European choice.
“Undoubtedly, Ukraine will not become an EU member in the next 20-25 years, and a member of NATO, too.” These are the words of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during his visit to the Hague on the eve of the referendum in the Netherlands on Association with Ukraine (April 6, 2016, the Advisory referendum, more than 60% of the Dutch voted against the Association with Ukraine). For almost half a year Ukraine has managed to implement all the EU requirements for visa-free regime and to avoid all sharp corners in discussions with a dispute with the Netherlands, which depended on final ratification of the Association Agreement. A little more than a month bezveza used by more than 100 thousand Ukrainians from September 1 will start to operate the Association Ukraine-EU. All this can be considered absolute “Peremoga” of Ukraine.
“I am sincerely convinced that bezviz was a real watershed between the European future and the Soviet past of Ukraine. I said it last “goodbye!” The Soviet Union and the Russian Empire, and the return of Ukraine into the European family of peoples”, – said Poroshenko, opening the meeting of the XIX summit Ukraine-EU.
Donald Tusk, speaking in Ukrainian, stressed that Ukraine has only half of the way, Recalling the reforms. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, took the floor and laughed it off, saying, do not know what is the working language of the meeting, but then seriously reminded Ukraine of the necessity to fight corruption.
The main results of the XIX summit EU-Ukraine:
- The EU is on the side of Ukraine against Russian aggression, does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and called for full implementation of the Minsk agreements, underlining Russia’s responsibility in this matter;
- The EU calls for the immediate release of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in the Crimea and Russia;
- at the beginning of 2018 will be held in Brussels an investment conference and international forum on joint modernization and operation of Ukrainian GTS;
- begins the development of roadmaps to further European integration of Ukraine;
- will be created an informal working group of the EU-Ukraine’s strategic communication, which will increase the effectiveness of responses to hacking and disinformation campaign of the Russian Federation;
- The EU no longer requires the creation of a special anti-corruption court, EU leaders agreed on a separate anti-corruption chamber in the Supreme court.
But a joint statement following the summit the parties have not accepted. Yesterday DW reported that Kiev insisted on the inclusion in the document text of the paragraph on the recognition by the EU of Ukraine’s European aspirations. According to a source in the European Commission, against such a formulation is strictly made by the Netherlands and indirectly they were supported by Germany and France. Is the Netherlands a year blocked final ratification of the Association Agreement. In December last year in the Hague failed to agree on the so-called special compromise interpretative statement, which says that the Association Agreement provides Ukraine with no candidate status for EU membership, nor the ability to obtain such status in the future. In many ways, this behavior of the Netherlands was due to the parliamentary election campaign. Many parties, including the force Prime Minister Mark Rutte, used the theme of Association with Ukraine in their interests to get yourself more points.
Passions around of the final statement of the nineteenth-Ukraine summit the EU began in earnest. According to sources “Today” in Ukrainian dipkrugah, on Wednesday at dinner, the EU leaders who arrived at the summit, has taken a tough stance. A categorical “no” of the Netherlands is still possible to understand parliamentary elections have ended, but the formation of a government continues, therefore, on the Ukrainian issue, there speculate opposition and far-right politicians. But the position of France and Germany, vividly describes the statement of the Chairman of the European Parliament, Deputy from the Free democratic party of Germany, Alexander Earl Lambsdorff. According to him, the countries-members of NATO have no desire to accept Ukraine into the Alliance and then getting involved in a conflict with Russia.
At the final, at a summit press conference to a direct question of the journalist about where the final statement and if there is a mention of European integration aspirations of Ukraine, neither Donald Tusk nor Jean-Claude Juncker, who drove the speakers with the words “I’m hungry!”, did not answer. Instead, the President of the EU Council, read out a thesis from the preamble of the Association Agreement. “And it’s not a slogan. It is recorded that the EU recognizes Ukraine’s European aspirations and welcomes its European choice”, – said Tusk, adding that he supports this provision, but stressed that this claim makes on its own behalf, and not on behalf of the EU.
The situation that prevailed at the XIX summit EU-Ukraine, reminds the visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Ukraine. At a joint press conference on the results of the Commission Ukraine-NATO, Petro Poroshenko said that the Ukrainian side has proposed, and the Alliance is accepted, to initiate a dialogue on granting membership action plan for Ukraine. Stoltenberg to the statement of the Ukrainian President said nothing. Later in the press service of the Alliance explained that did not give consent at the start of the dialogue on the map. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer explained such position of the West, the reluctance of either NATO or the EU to get involved in the conflict with Russia over Ukraine. Especially Germany, which is on the threshold of elections, and Chancellor Angela Merkel is known to be going for a fourth term.
However, as in the case of map, which we have not provided at the summit in Bucharest in 2008, and on Monday at the Commission Ukraine-NATO was not even given assurances the beginning of the dialogue, before Ukraine has a long way to reform. Reforms are necessary not only for accession to the EU and NATO, but for Ukraine itself. But EU leaders need to realize that Ukrainians should understand the ultimate goal of these reforms. As such, can become the West’s recognition of the right of Ukraine to join the EU and NATO.