In Moscow with unconcealed joy met the results of the summit Ukraine-EU, held in Kiev on 12-13 July. The European side was represented by the head of the EU Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU high representative for foreign policy Federica Mogherini. Outwardly, everything was quite decent. Published photos of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Juncker, who adoringly look at each other and seem ready to merge in a passionate kiss, almost as in the time of Brezhnev and Honecker.
But in fact, at the summit, there was confusion. Kiev sought to old Europe in a loud voice declared European aspiration of Ukraine. But against this at first were the Netherlands and then they were supported by Germany and France. They refused to recognise the European choice of the Ukrainians and even refused to hint at the possibility of Ukraine’s membership in the European Union in the near future.
“The last goodbye of the Russian Empire”
Meanwhile, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin was pleased with the results of the summit. Kiev believes that the main achievement was the agreement on Association and not on membership between Ukraine and the EU, which will enter into force on 1 September, as well as the introduction of a visa-free regime for citizens of the Square. At the opening session with the participation of Juncker and Tusk, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced that Ukraine visa-free regime with the EU is the “last “goodbye” of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.”
Ukrainian authorities are also very satisfied with the expansion of trade with the EU. The materials for the summit says that in the first quarter of 2017, the volume of mutual trade increased by 30% compared to the first quarter of 2016. Kiev also encouraged political support from the EU.
At the summit representatives of the EU supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine, has again condemned the annexation of Crimea to Russia, and also spoke in favor of the execution of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine. Tusk, in particular, demanded the immediate release of all illegally detained in Russia Ukrainian citizens. This support to such a degree instilled confidence in the future of relations with the EU, that Kiev is proposed as the site for the next summit of the Donetsk or Yalta.
However, the fact that the current 19th edition of the summit Ukraine-EU and was not accepted the final statement by many in Moscow, and even Kiev was regarded as in deep crisis in Ukraine’s relations with Europe. That the summit ended without a final document that has always been the rules of European diplomacy is evidence of a “profound crisis” wrote the Ukrainian “European truth” in the closing day of the forum.
At the same time in Moscow sarcastically reacted to the statement by the Ukrainian Minister Klimkin about the lack of need in the summit’s final Declaration.
What disturbs Europe in the policy of the Ukrainian leadership? First of all, the impotence of the Kiev authorities in the fight against corruption. European Commission President Juncker at the press conference made clear the dissatisfaction of Europe in this field. “The situation is not satisfactory, he said. — If you don’t destroy corruption, investors will not come to Ukraine. This is something on which we insist”.
Poroshenko explains the lack of results in fighting corruption “Soviet legacy”. In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro he said that “the Soviet system of corruption is too deeply rooted in society and in the minds of everyone.”
These words are pure evil. In the Soviet Union with all its terrible flaws, corruption was ten times lower than in the current Ukraine-Russia — then-the thieves and crooks feared or put on the table, membership cards, or to be shot — examples of the latter are many.
What’s happening now? According to data released by the publishing Politeka and given Russian Gazeta.ru in 2017 the average size of Ukrainian bribes increased by 9 thousand UAH and amounted to 31 thousand hryvnias (71 thousand). For the first five months of the year on charges of bribery were sentenced 113 people. 81 this sentence more than in the same period last year.
However, the number of sentences talking about the effectiveness in the fight against corruption and links to some kind of “Soviet heritage” and the war in the Donbass do not work here. Just on Ukraine to seriously deal with corrupt officials, no one is going.
Experts attribute the differences between Kiev and Brussels is not only the lack of results in the fight against corruption and progress in structural reforms but also a different understanding of reality.
“Before holding the summit in the Donbass, Kiev should stop killing the locals and then try to restore its state integrity”, — said Denis Denisov, Director of the Institute for peace initiatives and conflict resolution. Yet no such question. Ukrainian President according to the analyst all too often says things that have nothing to do with reality. Eve for example, said that Ukraine is ready to join the plan on NATO membership. Sitting next to representatives of the Alliance pretended not to notice him, and a few hours later the official representative of the foreign Ministry refuted the words of their President.
Russian experts are not without reason to believe that Brussels and Kiev — different interests. The fact that the EU already has received from Ukraine’s everything I wanted hidden from unneeded Ukrainian goods.
Kiev is very frustrating, given that the country is completely turned away from the Russian market. And all the arguments the same Minister Klimkin that the summit Kiev has received the quota for Ukrainian producers, and Europe soon “will buy Ukrainian sausage”, are for the most part fantasies, which in Moscow, cause only laughter.
What Putin wants?
No matter how the development of relations between Ukraine and the EU, the Russian component of the Ukrainian policy remains unchanged and extremely hard. President Putin, for which the Kiev Maidan, evaluated them as a coup, was a personal insult, makes clear that he will not allow US to “steer” in Ukraine, no matter how deep, was not “chemistry” in a relationship with Donald trump, as if Moscow wanted to improve its relations with America and to remove the imposed sanctions on Russia. Ukraine was and remains Putin’s control of Russia, the most important question of Russian national security. And to the point.
Washington understands that Putin in the Ukrainian question will be extremely difficult. “Trump and Putin has made limited progress on Syria, but Moscow became harder to try to destabilize Ukraine, the newspaper writes The Wall Street Journal. — Putin does not want to deploy a larger armed forces, but the fighting in the East of Ukraine claim five or six lives in a week. Recently, the Kremlin has stepped up the aggression by adding armed attacks on civilian targets and assassinations, crippling the Ukrainian state and its economy.”
With author Adrian Karatnycky, fellow of the Atlantic Council and co-Director of the initiative “Ukraine in Europe”, is debatable as to who actually “puts armed attacks” — Moscow or Kiev. However, it is impossible to disagree with his conclusion that “personal chemistry” between trump and Putin will not overcome the physics of power politics and diplomacy.”
On the Ukrainian front
However, it is unlikely Putin pleased with the economic degradation of Ukraine, which he recently said at a meeting with employees of Lebedinsky mining and processing plant. There, he refuted information about the strengthening of trade-economic relations of Ukraine with the EU and said that the volume of trade after the signing of the Association agreement with the European Union fell — as with Russia and the EU.
“There is industries (in the Ukraine), which effectively would have worked, except agriculture,” Putin said, warning that and the industry after appearing in the Ukraine-GMO (genetically modified organisms) can fail.
Likely, the Russian leadership hopes that the frustration of the Ukrainians in relations with the EU will lead to the buildup of popular pressure on the government so that the government resumed trade and economic ties with Russia. It appears that the improvement of relations with Kiev could become a strategic task of Vladimir Putin, if he will extend his presidential mandate until 2024. But while Ukrainian front in the dialogue with the trump may be more difficult than the Syrian or any other. In the middle East between Russia and the United States possible “exchanges” and mutually acceptable compromises. As for Ukraine, the contours of a possible agreement between Moscow and Washington is not even visible.