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Thread: Ukraine, the EU and Russia (suspension of EU - Ukraine talks)

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    Ukraine, the EU and Russia (suspension of EU - Ukraine talks)

    I'd really like to hear some opinions on Ukraine's suspension of the EU talks?

    The talks were only about co-operation, right? Membership in the EU for Ukraine has never seriously been on the agenda, or has it?

    Personally I really like Ukraine and Ukrainians and would be very happy to be in the same union as them. I think it would add a lot, and Ukraine has a lot to offer the rest of Europe. But I'd hate to see Ukraine taken advantage of by Western European businesses, in the way that happened in some of the new EU member states in Eastern Europe - they are no particular EU fans

    Ukraine as a member would massively shift power eastwards in the EU. Probably all sorts of old and new dynamics would blossom. I can't see any of the major EU countries allowing it. With regards to membership I think Ukraine has been lead down the garden path in a similar fashion as has happened with Turkey. Their time was wasted for 30 years and they got nowhere.

    So what do Ukrainians think of increased co-operation with CIS and Russia instead?

    It's also very worrying to hear that Ukraine is in dire straits financially. I really hope they can settle on a way forward.

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин DrBaldhead's Avatar
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    For the last 20 years Ukrainian politics were playing the same game with Russia over and over. Its rules were simple: "You like us and give us cheap (if not free) resources and we stay your friends, but if you don't, we'll sail away to some other place and you'll regret this loss of respect from your brother nation".
    For the last 10 years, our politics used to answer something like "Okay then, go. Go where you like. Just go already. Just don't forget to pay for the gas".
    And so Ukraine constantly tries to proudly go away and constantly returns for yet another drama. Just like now.
    The stupidest thing is that this everlasting dialogue is held mostly between politics and energy corporations rather than actual nations. Many of us have relatives in Ukraine (I got several cousins there), and it's kinda sad that we have to file additional documents just to meet each other in person.
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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Yes, it's sad. There is something very sad about borders separating families.
    You ought to be like we are in Scandinavia. Friends with open borders, leaving the past behind and supporting each other through ups and downs. Since you more or less have a language in common.
    I talked to some people in Ukraine, and it seemed literally all of them had family, friends or both in Russia.

    Seems to me that Ukraine needs a strong leader who can set a course and stick with it until things start improving. Not idiots who beat each other up in parliament and sell out their country to the highest bidder.

    I read a comment by Putin, which seems to suggest that he thinks foreign interests are behind ongoing protests in Ukraine. What do you think of that?

  5. #5
    Почтенный гражданин DrBaldhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    I read a comment by Putin, which seems to suggest that he thinks foreign interests are behind ongoing protests in Ukraine. What do you think of that?
    It's not really certain. Of course there are foreign interests. Ukraine would prove as quite a boost to European economy (although it might be fatal for the Ukrainian economy), and one more factor in political games with Russia.
    But it also should be noted that the modern Ukraine actually was created after the collapse of USSR, and its modern borders include at least two quite different territories: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine. The Eastern one is much more Russian than the Western one, whose people are the most of those who now stand in Kiev and demand to continue the integration with EU.
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  6. #6
    Hanna
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    The sad thing about these guys waving EU flags is that A LOT of regular people in the EU definitely do not want another Eastern country in the EU, particularly not one which has well known economic issues. And among the elites, they would want Ukraine in, to exploit it, to put it bluntly.
    The more I think about this, the more I wonder.
    I don't know what Russia's intentions regarding Ukraine are.

    Saw that there was an anti-EU demonstration in Moldova today. Apparently they are really against the EU there. Surprised to hear that, but if they want closer integration with the CIS, that's for them to decide. I thought they would want to be in the EU like Romania, clearly there is more to the story.

    Personally I would like Ukraine to be an EU member, but I have no strong feelings about it.

    And frankly, I wonder if it's really in Ukraine's best interest. It's pretty obvious that several of the Eastern European countries that joined recently have just been plucked off the good bits of their economy, but Western European companies, have become outsourcing locations, and sites for undesirable industries. In some cases, it's worked out "well" in that a lot of factories have been relocated to the East because it's cheaper and less workers rights (how ironic is that....) But at least it offers jobs.

    I work in a multinational corporation right now, and I am aware that they are putting a lot of European IT services, including call centre in Budapest. HR administration is already being done by a third party in Poland and some software development in Slovenia. Thanks to the EU expansion, I think it might cheaper to do these services out of these EU countries, than in India + it's almost on the same time zone. Eastern European countries don't get the agricultural support that the old member states get. It's a 1st and 2nd tier Europe.

    Plus ever waitress and barista in London is from Eastern Europe. Wtf - is this what European unity is about; is this what we wanted when we dreamt of Paneuropa.... ? The vision has been hijacked, or it was never realistic. It was supposed to be about solidarity and peace.

  7. #7
    Почтенный гражданин Dmitry Khomichuk's Avatar
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    My opinion is that Ukraine had exhausted natural resource and limit of USSR inherited industry. Ukraine has no money to renovate it so it will just disappear. So political elite have to decide where to put population and where to get money for themselves from. Some facts say that Ukraine is going to transform into Latino-American agriculture-type country (such as newly announced law about selling the land). Land will be divided between political clans. Population is planned to be exported as labours to other countries. And here is the problem. Western part of the country for 20 years works in EU and eastern one - in Russia. That's why Ukraine wanted to sit on two chairs. To be associated with EU and to be an observer in Customs Union. But tensions between Russia and EU are growing today, so they both have radical position - only with us totally.
    But EU has many internal problems, it is very "loose", so they just don't care about Ukraine. And it seems that Russia had just bought Ukraine politicians.

    Speaking about Moldova, they have a problem with Transnistria. Moldovans are threated to be Romanians (political course) because Romania is a part of EU. But for Transnistrians Romanians are just "Gipsy scum". But from other side there is Ukraine and if it will became EU member Transnistria will get a problem. They would like to unite with Russia but it is distant, so they live in "pending" style for years. And EU today have enough problems with Kosovo, Basques, Catalonia etc. I don't think they like other "poor eastern sh.it" plus having separatists. Only Romania is interested into Moldova inclusion because it will be easy to claim it as a part of Romania (other political sh.it, you see).

    P.S. In fact Ukraine anarchy and political situation is the same as it was starting from the XVII century, when it formed as so-so exact territory. It is separated into 4 parts. Western - was under Austria-Hungary/Polish rule, so they are Western Europe type. Eastern - industrial, mines etc. Heavy populated from Russia they are tied with Russia economically and see no future as an agricultural part of EU. Crimea - is a part of Ukraine only from 1954 (was transferred from Russian SFSR to Ukrainian SSR because of administrative reasons) in fact is Tatar/Russian by culture. And tatars are becoming a problem in Chechnya style. And central (last but not least ) part, plays different political games. Corruption, state contracts, etc.
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  8. #8
    Почтенный гражданин
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    Вступление в ЕС — это смерть для украинской экономики. К сожалению, многие на Украине этого не понимают.

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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    The saddest thing how this whole issue is clearly only about concern of political and buisness elites. People's opinion is asked only when it suits elite's interests. Like it was in 1991 when 70% of Ukrainians voted to stay in USSR but half a year later after massive propagandf 70% voted for separation.



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    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  10. #10
    Hanna
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    Yes, it's not like Ukrainians were second class citizens in the USSR.

    It's a big country, on the sea, with a well educated population. There HAS to be a way for the Ukraine to become prosperous and stable.

    Dmitry's perspective makes sense, and were interesting to read.

    Well the dice is cast about the USSR - that train has left!
    I guess it could have been transformed into something else - a union, minus the ideology, if people were fed up with that, and it wasn't working.

    But there is no going back, so they have to decide on a future with the EU, or the CIS.
    Can't keep going back and forth - really, it seems more important just to make a decision and stick with it!

    In the UK right now, a lot of Scots would like to leave the Union, and they are having a referendum about it in August next year. A lot of what the pro-independence Scots are saying makes a lot of sense, actually, even if the thought of dissolving the union is very sad.

    The Scots are fed up with wars, they want a more developed welfare state and policies that are more closely geared towards the needs of Scots in general. There is going to be a referendum about it in August next year. I don't think it will happen, the countries are too closely integrated, for too long. But the question is a hot potato and I guess everybody's realised that it's got to be settled once and for all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    The saddest thing how this whole issue is clearly only about concern of political and buisness elites. People's opinion is asked only when it suits elite's interests. Like it was in 1991 when 70% of Ukrainians voted to stay in USSR but half a year later after massive propagandf 70% voted for separation.



    Wow - interesting; I vaguely remember when all this happened, but I wasn't paying a lot of attention to any of this at the time. I was in school then.

    Wikipedia says:
    A 17 March 1991 referendum showed 76.4% of Soviet citizens voting to retain the Union. However, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Georgia, and Armenia did not participate.[7]
    Look at the figures in Central Asia; they must have been kicked out screaming, from the USSR, if these figures are correct. That is certainly not the message that was conveyed in the news that I watched at the time.

    All of this is just tragic - I am sure there is a "brain drain" of smart and driven people out of Ukraine and to other countries.
    The only business dealings I have ever had with Ukraine, was briefly with an outsourcing company of software development. They were great, but outsourcing is cr&p and I think Ukraine can do better than that. But how! It's a lovely country of nice and smart people - they don't deserve this, and I don't understand how Ukraine can be in such a mess.

  11. #11
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    Украину снова делят. Как в старые времена. История возвращается на новом витке.

  12. #12
    Hanna
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    Maybe they should just split the country then. If it consists of two parts, and the people have different ambitions depending on where they live.
    It's not like Ukraine is a long established independent nation. They could just say "there was a mistake at the dissolution of the USSR, and now we have rectified it". If the Western part of Ukraine feels held back by the Eastern parts and vice versa, then maybe they just need to go their separate ways?
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  13. #13
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    Maybe they should just split the country then.
    That happened before. Used to end up with a war.

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    Пользуясь геополитическими амбициями Евросоюза и России, Украина в очередной раз набивала себе цену. По всей видимости, Россия опять смогла предложить самую высокую ставку. Уже говорят о пересмотре газовых контрактов. К сожалению, банкет снова за счёт россиян.

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    xdns прав

    "Наши оппозиционеры, которые сейчас пытаются вывести людей на Майдан, как обычно врут, говорят, вот как только мы подпишем соглашение об ассоциации, Европейский союз нам даст 20 миллиардов. Простые люди не понимают, что это такое, но видят, что громадная сумма. И мы купаться будем в деньгах. Я говорю этим оппозиционерам, покажите мне хоть один документ, в котором бы зафиксировано это обязательство. Но ведь не вы, а мы ведем переговоры с Европейским союзом. Пока мы получили только такое обещание устное, что в течение 7 лет Украина может рассчитывать на один миллиард евро. Ну, что такое один миллиард евро? Это ничего. Это, так сказать, можно сказать, помощь нищему на паперти", - жалуется глава правительства Украины.

    "Деньги у ЕС есть. А когда речь заходит об Украине, то нам говорят, что вы давайте работайте, вы давайте двигайтесь вперед, но с деньгами не рассчитывайте", - сказал Н.Азаров.

    Читать полностью: Н. Азаров о Евромайдане: Играться не будем :: Политика :: Top.rbc.ru

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    Quote Originally Posted by xdns View Post
    Пользуясь геополитическими амбициями Евросоюза и России, Украина в очередной раз набивала себе цену. По всей видимости, Россия опять смогла предложить самую высокую ставку. Уже говорят о пересмотре газовых контрактов. К сожалению, банкет снова за счёт россиян.
    Учитывая, что все эти майданы могут вполне Януковича сожрать, возникает вопрос, кто именно там набивает себе цену. Кто реально руководит страной?

  17. #17
    Hanna
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    RT has the following to say against EU membership for Ukraine (there may be a slight Russian bias here....) :

    1) Ukraine's factories etc are not up to EU standards and cannot pay for modernisation.
    2) Ukrainians would lose subsidised gas and electricity since it's against EU monopoly legislation.
    3) Existing advantageous deals with Russia would probably be lost.
    4) Ukraine's own products / industry would be knocked out by EU products that are cheaper and possibly perceived as better quality.

    In addition to that: plenty of countries and people in the EU are strongly against further expansion. So it might just be wild goose chase, for nothing.

    I think that if I was Ukrainian, I would (perhaps reluctantly) turn towards Russia for the time being, and treat the EU as more of a long term in the future. But don't have any illusions about the EU. It's not really helped Southern and Eastern Europe; in some cases it's made things worse.
    The two richest countries in Western Europe (Switzerland and Norway) have decided to stay outside - and they are not tempted at all.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    RT has the following to say against EU membership for Ukraine (there may be a slight Russian bias here....) :

    1) Ukraine's factories etc are not up to EU standards and cannot pay for modernisation.
    2) Ukrainians would lose subsidised gas and electricity since it's against EU monopoly legislation.
    3) Existing advantageous deals with Russia would probably be lost.
    4) Ukraine's own products / industry would be knocked out by EU products that are cheaper and possibly perceived as better quality.

    In addition to that: plenty of countries and people in the EU are strongly against further expansion. So it might just be wild goose chase, for nothing.

    I think that if I was Ukrainian, I would (perhaps reluctantly) turn towards Russia for the time being, and treat the EU as more of a long term in the future. But don't have any illusions about the EU. It's not really helped Southern and Eastern Europe; in some cases it's made things worse.
    The two richest countries in Western Europe (Switzerland and Norway) have decided to stay outside - and they are not tempted at all.
    Good point.

    I've talked to some Ukrainian — it seems they don't quite undestand that EU is not a kind of charitable foundation. EU membership can ruin Ukrainian economics.
    I am not enthusiastic at all about Customs Union, but it looks as much better alternative.

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    Почтенный гражданин 14Russian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedFox View Post
    Good point.

    I've talked to some Ukrainian — it seems they don't quite undestand that EU is not a kind of charitable foundation. EU membership can ruin Ukrainian economics.
    I am not enthusiastic at all about Customs Union, but it looks as much better alternative.
    Hopefully, enough Ukrainians wake up in time and refuse the EU.

    Ukraine's Choice: East Or West?

    Choose neither.

  20. #20
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Russian View Post
    Hopefully, enough Ukrainians wake up in time and refuse the EU.

    Ukraine's Choice: East Or West?

    Choose neither.
    The article is from Radio Free Europe, for Gosh's sake! Are you serious?!

    Just what the Ukrainians need, huh? Americans telling them what to do. Because it always ends up so well when the USA interferes on other continents.

    No wonder Radio "Free" Europe doesn't want Ukraine to to be close to the EU or Russia! Go figure!
    It wants Ukraine to lick the US butt, while being a super-cheap outsourcing country, in debt to US banks and hosting a few US military bases on the border to Russia.

    Next time, please quote a source that is not financed by an intelligence service.

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