17/01/2010 – http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/29825/
“If [Premier] Yulia Tymoshenko and [Regions Party leader] Viktor Yanukovych enter the second round, then the question of Ukraine’s future membership of the EU should be decisive in the second round of the election. Would you like to join the EU? This is the first question that I would like to ask both [candidates]. I think that this is not a question for Tymoshenko – she has answered it many times. I know that Yanukovych has mentioned this several times, but I would like to see what he will tell the Ukrainian people on TV: ‘If I become president, we will try to join the EU. This is what our friends in the EU are waiting for,’” David said in Brussels in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.
Dear readers……I am starting to believe the EU political set-up is designed solely for politicians either so useless or so removed from reality that it simply exists to keep them employed and save them embarrassing themselves on home soil.
I really do not think the first and most important question for either candidate which makes it into the second round will be about EU membership or aspirations to do so, as far as the average Ukrainian citizen is concerned. I think they have a number of other concerns much more immediate and much more domestically orientated that they would like addressed and actioned.
What planet is he on?…….Or is he just naturally gifted at being an obnoxious, egotistical, ignorant and arrogant twit?
As he goes on to say………
“While Ukrainian politicians are fighting each other, as they are doing – beating and killing each other- these leaders are very happy, because they don’t have to raise the Ukrainian issue. You are destroying yourselves, and while it is happening, we, the EU, don’t have to raise the issue of membership.”
That is of course what “friends in Europe are waiting for“…….Having to shift uncomfortably in their seats……should Ukraine ever make the grade……..and find other reasons to keep it out?
How can a “friend” be someone who is relieved to see another “friend”……in his words……”beating and killing” itself? A friend would not be relieved to see this happen even if there was no way it could help…….but as he then says, the EU is quite happy this is happening.
What sort of message is this?
We are your friend but happy to see you are beating yourself up, allowing us to avoid making decisions?
If the EU has a policy towards Ukraine, that policy is the policy regardless of the winner of the election. The strategy may change, the timescale may change, but the policy does not.
There is either a policy or there is not. There is nothing wrong with having policy and then scrapping that policy……..but there is no “halfway house” policy as that is neither carrot or stick.
Yet more mixed messages from the bowels of the EU towards Ukraine…….unless of course, being a friend and watching another friend’s pain is some from of sadomasochistic reality enjoyed by the hierarchy of the politicians in the EU……..and not too many people are likely to find solice in such affection from a friend.
The EU needs to state quite clearly and directly……now that it has a figurehead for it’s foreign policy in Cathy Ashton…….what it’s position is towards Ukraine…….without any “if’s”, “but’s” or “maybe’s”.
Whoever wins this election will only have a 5 year term……10 years if re-elected but that it all. It is not a long time when it comes to either progress in the EU or Ukraine, so EU policy has to be a policy which is long term orientated.
It can be short on detail, there is no need to worry about the nuances. Ukraine will be welcome to join with open arms or it won’t. That is the policy statement…….nothing more.
After that it is up to Ukraine to get it’s house in order to meet the standards and generate the public support required to join and with a mandate to do so. That is Ukraine’s business and is hardly likely it will reach those standards in the next 5 years…….so who wins is irrelevant to EU policy and only relevant to strategy and time-line.
Lame statements along the lines of “doors being left open” are not the same as “you will get entry when you meet the standards and your people want to”. One is definite and the other is ambiguous. One is a policy statement, the other, an uninspiring maybe.
If the plan is one of association but not full entry……just say so.
Baroness Ashton, as the mouthpiece for the EU on foreign affairs, there is no need to have a long oratory over anything, just a simple, short statement for the people of Ukraine and the EU to know what the EU intentions are towards Ukraine…….it does not matter what the Ukrainian intentions are towards the EU as that should not set your policy.
Now would be a very good time to give such a statement.