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21 November, 2013 19:19   ▪  

Political analyst: Ukrainian government pops off a step away from the Association Agreement

Ukrainian government is not ready for the benefits of European integration in the near future, therefore it opts for short-term benefits in the CIS, comments political analyst Vadym Karasiov on the suspension of the preparation for the Association Agreement signing in Vilnius.

“Ukrainian government and society, including manufacturers and industry players, are not ready for this price of European integration today. Because, unlike the Baltic States and Central-Eastern European states, Ukraine views European integration exclusively from an economic standpoint, in terms of the time and calculations of benefits and losses, bonuses and risks,” Karasiov believes.
He claims that European integration is not something from bookkeeping, “there is no clear measure here where the loss is, and where the benefit is.”
“Sometimes, in order to gain long-term benefits in the mid-term prospect, one should be prepared for losses in the short-term,” Karasiov claims. “These losses would be compensated for by national consolidation and unity because society would survive the losses knowing that we have returned to Europe, eliminated the corrupt oligarch-controlled model of the economy, and gained economic independence from the economy of the past.”

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“Apparently, the Ukrainian government will pass the decision over to the European partners. This could be another signal for the EU to urgently develop a compensation package in case Russia exerts pressure on Ukraine. But one thing is clear: we are once again being on sale, an item of a bargaining session on who will pay more – the Customs Union or the EU,” Karasiov claims.
However, Ukraine has not yet turned its back on the EU; this is just about a delay of association.
“Ukrainian government and society must have underestimated Russia’s tough stance, therefore they are not ready to sign the FTA Agreement with the EU at the expense of losing the Russian market and shrinking export-oriented productions and the resulting lay-offs in Eastern Ukraine. Thus, entrepreneurs and oligarchs tied to Russian markets have started their mantras. Integration with the EU is more than just that – it would bring some risks to us, but we would gain our place in the European family instead,” he concludes.
On November 21, the Cabinet of Ministers suspended preparations for the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU.
Arseniy Yatseniuk, the leader of Batkivshchyna faction in parliament, announced that the opposition demands President Viktor Yanukovych and Premier Mykola Azarov to arrive to parliament because of this decision.

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