Ukraine Drops EU Association Plans

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov

In dramatic turnaround, government says it is suspending trade pact preparations and talking to Russia again

KIEV (Al Jazeera)—Ukraine has rejected draft laws that would allow the release of a jailed opposition leader, suspended plans for a landmark agreement with the European Union and announced it will renew active dialogue with Russia.

The Ukrainian parliament’s failure to pass the bills on Thursday to grant freedom to the former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko took away the country’s last chance to satisfy the EU’s condition for stepping towards integration with the 28-member bloc.

The decree issued by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on the government website on Thursday said that the decision was taken in order to “ensure the national security of Ukraine” after taking into account the effects of trade with Russia if the agreement was signed on November 28-29 summit in Vilnius.

The agreement with the EU would have marked a pivotal shift westwards for the ex-Soviet republic’s 46 million people, away from their historic Russian ally.

The government instead proposed creating a three-way trade commission between Ukraine, the European Union and Russia that would resolve trade issues between the three sides.

Last Chance

EU leaders have repeatedly warned that Ukraine may not have another chance of signing the Association Agreement for several years, with the EU Commission due to change in 2014 and Ukraine set for presidential elections in 2015.

The leader of the opposition responded to the government order by saying that President Viktor Yanukovich could face impeachment if he failed to sign the agreement with the EU.

The opposition has accused Yanukovych of having no interest in seeing Tymoshenko released ahead of 2015 polls and deliberately trying to stymie the inking of the deal with the EU.

Meanwhile, Putin, whose government piled pressure on Ukraine in the run-up to the summit, said on Thursday that Moscow was not against Ukraine signing the association agreement.

“We are not against Ukraine’s sovereign choice whatever it may be,” he said, reiterating however the threat of protective measures should Ukraine join forces with Europe.


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  1. GB said:

    EU countries don’t want to see, that most ex Soviet States get energy and gas from Russia, except Axerbaijan, where internal dictatorship, and corruption, will lead Sultanate people toward a Middle Eastern style chaotic revolution!!

  2. Norin Radd said:

    Good job Ukraine! A brilliant move, the EU already has plenty of eastern brothels, Ukraine’s membership would only serve the EU elite states Germany, France, and England while Ukraine itself would gain 3rd tier brothel status behind other eastern member states.

  3. Harutik said:

    The chess pieces brilliantly maneuvered by President Putin’s government during the last few years is beginning to pay dividends. Bravo Russia. Congratulations Ukraine.

  4. Sergii said:

    all Ukrainians want cultural exchange with Europe, but our government has stolen a lot of that would be judged not selective and therefore afraid.
    Yesterday more than 200 thousand Ukrainians want to help themselves, but without help from the EU can not succeed. Perhaps Europe once again forget about Ukraine and Russia will replenish with new lands.

    • said:

      This is a lie. Ukrainians have plenty of “cultural exchange” with Europe and nobody’s preventing them from that.

      I looked at the pictures of these “peaceful” demonstrators. Many wear neonazi emblems and uniform and carry flags of nazi collaborators from Western Ukraine.

      During the war in Artsakh Western Ukrainian volunteers fought against Armenians on the Azeri Turk side. The recently disposed “pro-Western” government sold Sultan Ilham Heidar ogly plenty of Ukrainian made tanks and other military toys.

      Today the Maidanazis greeted former Georgian President Saakashvili, the war criminal, who in 2008 sent Javakh Armenian reservists to die for the Great Empire of Gurjistan.

  5. Alex Postallian said:

    Does the diversity in Ukraine cause the problems…When you follow politics,not cultural pursuits,you have problems,thats why the psychos rule,and the uneducated follow.

  6. Pingback: Implications, consequences and potentials of President Putin’s upcoming visit to Armenia – November, 2013 | Heralding the Rise of Russia