The Guest Blog

By Yevhen Magda

The Guido Westerwelle’s visit to Kyiv showed that the issue of signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) remains on the bilateral relations agenda. The destiny of Yulia Tymoshenko remains a sticking point.

The Chief of German Ministry of Foreign Affairs has showed a high rate of efficiency in Kyiv meeting the key players of Ukrainian politics. Guess, Westerwelle has brought the “last mention” for those who wish to take a place in European nations’ family on terms of legitimacy. He expressed satisfaction with the results of dialogue with Ukrainian government and opposition.

It seems that both, Ukrainian opposition and the government understand the importance of European integration. They have showed readiness to forget about their antagonism and cooperate to bring Ukraine closer to the EU. There is a constitutional majority in Ukrainian Parliament that is ready to vote for legislation essential for European integration. President Yanukovych enhanced rhetoric about European integration. ?e constantly announces the public about his hopes to sign the AA in November. His hopes find a positive response from the population that sees European integration as a possibility to modernize and reform the country. European emissaries more than once gave for Yanukovych a possibility to understand that there are a lot of things depending from the Tymoshenko’s destiny.

Summer 2013 will be a moment of truth for ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine. As a symbol of Ukrainian opposition for the EU, Tymoshenko will have to make a choice. The key role in question of agreement about her departure to Germany for a medical treatment belongs now not to the Ukrainian government, but to beloved by Europe Yulia. If she agrees and satisfies the conditions on limitation of her political activity during the visit abroad, the hopes to sign the AA in November will become very real. If she rejects – the status of “grey zone” will seem for Ukraine as the most convenient. Tymoshenko should make a choice now showing that her rhetoric about the desire to see Ukraine among the EU countries is something more than just a political demagogy.

Yevhen Magda is an associate Professor of politics at Ukraine’s Kiev Polytechnic Institute (NTUU KPI) with a PhD in political science.

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Comments

  1. Blaming imprisoned ex PM Yulia Tymoshenko for undermining hopes of signing AA with EU is an old spin.

  2. I think that what Mr. Magda means is more that even if the government agrees with Berlin about her treatment in Germany, the last word will be after her. It’s not about blaming her.

  3. If Yulia has the last word and if her word/decision can determine where the country will eventually go as Y. Magda argues, then she is in fact more powerful than the Ukrainian govt.

  4. I think in this case it is only about the situation with her treatment rather than the direction of Ukrainian foreign policy in general. But I agree with you about one thing – the situation with Yulia is much more complicated than it just looks like.

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