The news is almost certain. On March 30 the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine will be initialled. Yes, yes, it is the same agreement that was supposed to be initialled last year in December at the EU-Ukraine summit.
I enjoy any positive fact that goes in this direction. However it does not mean that things have begun to move forward in Ukraine. Both sides remain distant to the situation and this is why it is changing. Yulia Tymoshenko is still in prison and the EU has limited to minimum the contact with our Eastern neighbour.
Last week in Strasbourg I talked to President Barroso who told me that on the occasion of the March summit on nuclear security in Seoul he would meet President Yanukovych and probably tell him that until the October election in Ukraine there is no way to sign or ratify the agreement. So let’s enjoy what we have.
There are black clouds over Ukrainian economy. The negotiations with the IMF, which were supposed to lead to a cash injection, were unsuccessful. It was about gas and the artificial way in which the government lowers its prices for domestic customers. Western analysts believe that if there is no gas deal with Russia, Ukraine will have to “find” over $ 5 billion so that in the second half of the year they can buy their debt. This amount is about 30% of the reserves of the Ukrainian National Bank. A lot. When you confront the news with the open Russian pressure for the country’s accession to the common Eurasian economic space, the scenario for the future seems unpleasant.
I hope that the parliamentary election will be a turning point in the current relations between the EU and Ukraine. And I am not concerned about their outcome, but rather about the way it will be carried out. If it is labelled as free and fair, the discussion will follow.Author : Marek Siwiec MEP