Die EU se roekelose uitbreiding

Timosjenko voer Soros se rewolusie
Timosjenko voer Soros se rewolusie

Deur Karin Roodt.

Die Oekraïne se onverwagte verwerping, onder Russiese dwang, van ‘n langtermyn, onderhandelde voorlopige lidmaatskapooreenkoms met die Europese Unie is waarskynlik ‘n manier vir die Russe om protes aan te teken oor vroeëre ooreenkomste met die Weste wat eensydig verbreek is.

Rusland se werklike grief teen die Weste, en die VSA in die besonder, is dat die belofte van president George HW Bush aan die Sowjet-leier Michail Gorbatsjof met die ineenstorting van kommunisme nie nagekom is nie. Bush senior het belowe dat NAVO sal nie uitbrei om die voormalige Warskouverdraglande oor te neem nie, en daarvan het dadels gekom.

Terwyl duisende Oekraïners die strate ingevaar het, baie van hulle studente of veterane van die massa-optogte van die 2004 se Oranje Revolusie, is dit hierdie keer – nege jaar later – teen ‘n ander agtergrond.

Die Oranje Rewolusie is reeds ‘n teer punt in Moskou, aangesien dit uit die sak van die Amerikaanse miljardêr George Soros gefinansier is.

Die Russiese president Wladimir Poetin het pas ‘n skouspelagtige terugkeer na die hoofarena van magspolitiek in die Midde-Ooste gemaak – teen aansienlike koste vir die Verenigde State van Amerika – met sy vredesinisiatief in Sirië.

Nou het hy die Europese Unie ook in ‘n hoek gedryf. Die vergadering ‘n week gelede, Vrydag om presies te wees, tussen die Oekraïne en die EU kan van kritieke belang wees.

“Ons is almal Europeërs!” en “Nee” vir afpersing!” was die uitroepe tydens die optogte. Verwerping van die Europese voorstelle het nou twyfel gesaai oor die uitslag van ‘n EU- vergadering in Vilnius, Litaue, oor verdere ooreenkomste met die Oekraïne , Moldawië en Georgië.

Daar is potensiële voordele vir Rusland in ‘n indirekte verbintenis met die EU. Maar as beloftes nie nagekom word nie, kan die Russe seker nie verkwalik word dat hulle sulke voordele heroorweeg nie.

Na die Duitse eenwording is Europa se ledetal uitgebrei na die Duitsers, en die VSA het “beperkte NAVO-vennootskappe” aan Pole, Hongarye en Slowakye aangebied.

Oekraïne se president, Janoekowitsj, het onverwags die Europese voorstelle verwerp, soos sy ondersteuners in die parlement, wat teen besluite oor die EU gestem het, insluitend die een wat sou toegelaat het dat die voormalige president Julia Timosjenko – ‘n Oranje Rewolusie-aanstelling – die gevangenis sal kan verlaat en na Duitsland gaan, amptelik vir “mediese behandeling”.

NAVO het met Slowakye as lid ‘n gemeenskaplike grens met die Oekraïne, maar die laasgenoemde was nooit deel van die Weste nie.

Hulle was deel van die Sowjet-Unie tot 1991 en voorheen van die Russiese Ryk sedert 1793, en ‘n bondgenoot van Rusland sedert die Middeleeue.

Die oorsprong van die huidige krisis lê dus in die Oekraïne se geskiedenis van imperiale oorheersing deur Rusland. Vir eeue het die Russe in die Oekraïne geheers onder die vaandel van die Tsaristiese of Sowjet regimes.

Rusland het natuurlik ou taalkundige en godsdienstige verdeeldheid in die Oekraïne uitgebuit, maar buitelandse magte wat dit wil naboots, word deur Rusland en die Russies-sprekende Oekraïners gesien as onaanvaarbare inmengers in die land se sake.

Die Oranje Rewolusie is deur Poetin vertolk as deel van ‘n Amerikaansgeborgde veldtog om Rusland se wêreldposisie te ondermyn, wat begin het met Rusland se uitsluiting van die Balkan en die uitbreiding van NAVO met die oorlog teen Serwië, een van Rusland se historiese, godsdienstige en kulturele bondgenote.

Met die NAVO reeds by die Oekraïense grens, en Pole se sterk veldtog vir NAVO-lidmaatskap van die voormalige Sowjet-state soos die Oekraïne en Wit-Rusland, is die saak baie sensitief.

In 2008 is die NAVO-opmars gestuit met ‘n konflik tussen Georgië – wat ook deel was van die Sowjet-Unie – en die onafhanklike gebiede van Suid -Ossetië en Abkhazië.

Georgiese troepe het Suid-Ossetië binnegeval vergesel deur President Mikheil Saakashvili se aankondiging op internasionale televisie dat die gebiede sal verenig met Georgië.

Die Russiese weermag het oornag ingegryp en teen dagbreek was Georgiese troepe uit hul diepte en die flambojante en Amerikaans-gesteunde Saakashvili was op CNN desperaat om Amerikaanse steun en NAVO-ingryping af te bedel. Sy pogings was verniet.

Oekraïne se huidige konflik met die EU val saam met die twee belangrike en positiewe Russiese politieke ingrypings in die Midde-Ooste. Die mees onlangse was die Russies-gesteunde ooreenkoms tussen Iran en die P5+1 oor Iran se kernprogram.

Die tweede was Poetin se ingryping in die Siriese burgeroorlog na die omstredenheid oor chemiese wapens, toe die ongewilde Amerikaanse president Barack Obama wou aandring op ‘n bomaanval.

‘n Ewe konstruktiewe kompromie sal welkom wees in die Oekraïene en die EU leierskap se soms roekelose uitbreiding van die EU ter wille van die uitbreiding, kan dalk ‘n paar miljardêrs in die VSA laat glimlag, maar nie Europa se inwoners nie.

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  • Johann Theron

    Poetin weet dat Amerika kompeteer en as vorige intelligensie offisier weet hy maar al te goed wat dit beteken. Ons samewerking met Rusland na die Angolese oorlog was redelik goed dmv militere en kern projekte. As mens die langtermyn beskou is Rusland minder liberaal en meer versoenbaar met die afrikaner. Die hedendaagse polisie vergelyk selfs ons misdaad syfers met Rusland (agv die wit sterftes). Die probleem is egter nog ons westerse doktrines wat moeilik veranderbaar is en waarvoor ons deur die VV betaal word as ons vredeswerk doen in Afrika. Nou ja – ek raai eintlik maar net.

    • Rooikop

      Kommunisme mag dalk dood wees in naam maar leef nog voort in baie mense in rusland se denke en harte. Daar is baie van hulle wat terugverlang na kommunisme – dit is die een ding wat teen hulle tel.

    • Sjert

      Putin is ‘n Marxis in murg en been.
      Weliswaar ‘n nuwe opgedateerde kommunis wat meer modern voorkom as sy voorgangers wat hul Perestroika te laat in werking gestel het.
      In daardie opsig is daar seker ooreenkomste tussen ons en die Russe, maar ek weet nie of dit iets is om op trots te wees nie.

      • Johann Theron

        Ons werk lekker saam met hulle. Die verskille tot dusver is dat hulle swart boekies in hulle agtersakke gebruik om wiskunde te doen en dus min papierwerk het en natuurlik die geloofskonflik wat miskien die moeilikste aspek is. Maar hulle vier ook Kersfees en het groot kapitaliste. Ek weet nie, maar dit voel vir my ons kan saamwerk – los net die meisies uit.

        • Sjert

          Johan
          Jou “ons” verwys seker na die SAKP en die ANC?
          ‘n Ou wat vanaf sy studente dae, iewers in die vroeë sewentigers as lid van die Kommuniste Party aanvaar is en tot met die ontbinding van die Party gedurende 1991 lid gebly het, is ‘n jakkals wat nie maklik van haar verander nie.
          Dan was hy ook ‘n hogere piet (Kolonel) binne die baie eksklusiewe Eerste Direktoraat van die KGB tot in 1991.
          Hoe ookal. Hulle meisies is wragtag pragtag.
          Net jammer dat die Russe so bang vir seep en water is.
          🙂

          • Gas

            Omdat jou belangstelling duidelik in ingewikkelde kwessies soos seep en water is, moet jy vir ons verduidelik hoekom al die ANC se raadgewers oor ongelykheid en klasseverskille wit en Brits is?

          • Riempies

            Weet nie van die blankes persy nie maar die Britte is is bang vir water en seep – dit is n bekende feit.

          • Sjert

            Sokkol antie met oompie Persy?

          • Riempies

            Ja maar hy wil nie byt nie –

          • Sjert

            Gassie ou teppit
            Dat seep en water jou belangstelling sodanig prikkel en jy boonop een of ander fobie vertroetel oor ANC raadgewers (alweer daai blerrie Huddleston!!! 🙂 wat wit en Brits sou wees!
            tsk tsk tsk
            Krap vir jouself ‘n rubriek uit oor daai onderwerp ou biepbap. Dan hoef jy nie jouself so met ‘n plank te kom wetter onder ‘n tiettil wat oor die Russki’s handel nie.

          • Gas

            Mmm, ek sien die minderwaardigheid het weer die oorhand gekry. Gaan kommunisme nie oor klasseverskille nie? As ek reg onthou het jy ons weer kom bang praat oor die Rooi Gevaar. Kom oor jou bomskok poepies

          • Sjert

            Gassie
            Van minderwaardigheid gepraat…Jou eerste poging tot gesprekvoering, is ‘n uitstekende voorbeeld van dit waarvan jy andere beskuldig. Of gaan jy dit vinnig uitvee?
            Jou ‘poepies’ is net so flou soos jou aandag soekery.

          • Gas

            Ek sien, jy het jouself nou dieper in jou kommunistiese gat ingespit want jy het begin teem oor die euwels van kommunisme. Van aandag soek gepraat. Moet jy nie die oom Apies met die pyp op die stoep impersonation vaarwel roep nie? Jy lyk net agterlik. O ekskuus, jy is

          • Sjert

            Snik oompie AB.
            Sommer nog enetjie – snik!

          • Riempies

            My buurvrou het n baie bekende seun wat met n
            Russiese vrou getroud is – sy is werklik mooier as n mens EN sy is pynlik netjies in haar huis met uitstekende smaak wat haar komposisies in haar huis betref.

          • Sjert

            Ja Rieme
            So is daar gelukkig uitsonderings vir elke reël.
            Daarom glo ek dat Dawie Roodt heel gelukkig met sy Russiese Katuschka is.
            🙂

          • Riempies

            Sjertjie jy weet mos nou al by die tyd ek laat my nie so maklik uitlok nie. 😉

      • Guest

        Get back to reality old chap. This Kim Wale looks British to me, not Russian. http://praag.org/?p=12192

      • Götterdammerung

        Putin is alles behalwe ‘n Marxis. Ek plaas nou maar hierdie fototjie weer sodat almal dit weereens kan sien

        • Sjert

          Putin se agtergrond stem ooreen met die van ‘n bevoorregte lid van die USSR. Sy Pa was ‘n NKVD lid, sy Oupa ‘n kok vir Lenin en ook vir Stalin, wat impliseer dat die ou man veral in die neurotiese Stalin se geval, groot vertroue geniet het. Met
          bygaande voordele.

          Word lid van die KP (Russiese antwoord vir die AB) in sy vroeë twintigers.

          Almiskie is hy nie meer ‘n Marxis nie en het hy miskien ‘n Damaskus ervaring beleef, nadat die KP ontbind het? Wie sou dit nou weet?

          In 2007 sê hy: “The fall of the Soviet Union was the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the last century.” Let wel – Soviet Union – nie Russia nie.

          Wat natuurlik op verskillende wyses deur verskillende siele vertolk kan word.

          Hy mag ‘n baie oulike nuwe pel van die meerderheid in hierdie droewe land wees, maar ek het geen rede om te vermoed dat hy van enige nut vir my of my pelle, familie, of ons osse of ons esels of iets wat in ons besit is, sal wees nie.

  • Matt Heyns

    Ek kry die indruk Praag, van alle instellings, is pro Israel.

    Israel, unlike Iran have been engaged in acts of terrorism and been in constant wars before, during and after its creation in 1948 and continues to day. Israel engaged in acts that are in the least could be and should be classified as “acts against humanity” from ethnic cleansing and exiling of Palestinians to “transfer of population” to destruction of villages, land theft, kidnapping, arrest and jailing without trial. Have engaged in assassinations in Paris, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Dubai, Malta among many other places and yet it is not a “rogue state”.

    While Israel was able to scuttle the first round of talks in mid November exercising its power and influence over France, it’s president François Hollande and its foreign minister Laurent Fabius. France decision perhaps is driven by the hope of reelection for Hollande is suffering badly in the poles, perhaps in seeking to consolidate its weapon sales programs and commercial business in the Middle East, perhaps to play a bigger role in Middle East affairs in “Sunni” countries.

    Though Israel failed to exercise its “veto” over the temporary deal with Iran, Israel did not give up yet. Its dogs in Congress are pushing for bill that demands the administration certify to the Senate every 30 days that Iran is abiding by the terms of the temporary agreement and may, just may, succeed in forbidding, preventing, even hijacking the administration decision to move forward with a permanent agreement with Iran within the next six months.

    Israel alone and through its allies, agents, loyalists and Israeli Firster’s within the US administration, certainly in Congress have failed to scuttle the negotiations, Bibi Netanyahu have not given up yet. Bibi and Israel wants to decapitate Iran and its nuclear program demanding Iran to give up completely its nuclear program even if it is a peaceful one. Bibi Netanyahu army of loyalists simply could scuttle the next deal.

    Israel perhaps the third or fourth most powerful nuclear country after the US, and Russia perhaps China, was helped in its nuclear program by the hypocritical west with countries like the US, France and Norway supplying the material and the know how to Israel to produce hundreds of nuclear bombs and no thanks to countries like the US, Germany, and Russia have the means to deliver its bombs as far as New York, Moscow or Chicago, Tehran even Mecca.

    For many years, Israel through its surrogate the US have labeled Iran as a “rogue state” and as a nation outside the “community of nations” as if Israel with all of its nuclear bombs and its solid indisputable history of terrorism is not a rogue state and is within the “community of nations”.

    Arabs Gulf countries which have suffered from and paid hundreds of billions in the costs of wars over the last three decades should be wise enough to understand that the best thing for them is cooperation with Iran not confrontation, certainly not inciting and giving legitimacy to Israel attack on Iran.

    The recent visits of the UAE foreign minister to Tehran and the recent visits of the Iranian foreign minister to Kuwait, Doha and Oman is a good first step to snuff the tension in the region that lasted for too long and gave rise to “sectarian incitement”

    As I have stated in my last article it will be wise, even worthwhile for the Arab Gulf countries to form cooperation and partnership with Iran in its nuclear program guaranteeing the safety of the technology and making sure that Iran nuclear program is peaceful.

    With so much investment in the hundreds of billions, made by these Arab Gulf countries in their infrastructure and in industries creating an oasis of prosperity and with trillions in reserves it would be foolish to support, incite or even engage in any war that can destroy years of hard work and building. Investment in peace pays off in the immediate and distant future. The last thing the Arab Gulf needs is another war.

    Iran on the other hand must take the necessary steps to reach out to its neighbors in affirmation of peace and brotherhood and must also cease to have its allies incite “sectarian” hate that can only bring wars and destruction. The safety and security of Iran is with the safety and security of the Arab Gulf States. Both sides should give peace a chance, Inshallah.

  • Matt Heyns

    Inexorably, issues tied to the conflicts in the Middle East will focus on the US and Israel. Decades ago, Israel was spoken of as either America’s “aircraft carrier” or “junkyard dog.”

    Now, as we see Israeli influence wielded against President Obama and his national security team, attempting to derail US foreign policy triumphs, to the point of advocating additional sanctions on Iran or even an unprovoked and illegal military aggression, something very ugly comes to light.

    Simply put, Iran would never have come to the table in Geneva unless it had no nuclear weapons program. This simple fact was confirmed by the Central Intelligence Agency in their 2007 National Intelligence Estimate.

    Similarly, Veterans Today editor, Clinton Bastin, former chief nuclear weapons designer for the US Department of Energy, acting as a consultant to the IAEA, informed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu of his conclusions, identical to those of the CIA.

    Bastin confirmed that Iran neither possessed nor were they likely ever to possess necessary technology to convert twenty percent enriched uranium gas to weapons grade material. Netanyahu, in his response, thanked Bastin and acknowledged receipt of this information from the highest-level source available.

    Clinton Bastin – VT nuclear expert

    America’s claims of having “clean hands” disappeared soon after the reported wave of good will said to have generated by 9/11. Torture, rendition, allegations of drug trafficking in Afghanistan and massive oil theft from Iraq were soon to surface.

    Later, more serious stories would come to light, NSA revelations from Edward Snowden, packaged for the mainstream media and more serious allegations, evidence of nuclear weapon use in Iraq discovered by Dr. Christopher Busby.

    Or, more recently, evidence of a series of bio-chem warfare facilities brought to light by Jeffrey Silverman, just released from hospital in the Republic of Georgia after being attacked by what police claim were American security contractors.

    Then again, the conflict in Syria brought to light the relationship between Al Qaeda and the west. If America knew Iran had no nuclear weapons program in 2005, if America knew Saddam had no WMD’s in 2003, did America also know there were no Al Qaeda training bases in Afghanistan to justify that incursion as well, a fact long in evidence.

    Moreover, if America, Saudi Arabia and Israel can openly supply Al Qaeda led jihadists in Syria, when did that relationship begin, before 9/11, perhaps years before?

    Some analysts tie Al Qaeda to Gladio operations that date well into the 1990s and before. If this is true and there are no proofs at this time that refutes this hypothesis, no position supporting US foreign policy in recent years can be trusted.

  • Matt Heyns

    Franklin Lamb got a good Press TV interview about General Hayden’s Sunday talk show where he flanked the Israelis to let them know that Israel with all of it’s WMDs is hardly the entity to make the rules for everybody else.

    The U.S. is finally moving past the ‘all options are on the table’ silliness which made us look like a loud mouth, aging, bullying boxer.

    George Bush – Who never could find his National Guard unit

    I am absolutely sure that historians will look back on the Bush regime’s telling the moderate Iranian regime of Mr. 43′s first term to ‘take a hike’ when they reached out to normalize relations.

    This was a terrible injustice to the American people, an abject betrayal. His public events should be empty for the rest of his life if more Americans had some pride.

    But as Gordon Duff has sometimes pointed out, we have Americans who see dogs eating their own vomit and then say “Hey, I never thought of doing that…getting to eat it twice.” Such people are held in utter contempt by the elites, but serve them none the less as ‘useful idiots’.

    Bibi has acknowledged the failure of his attempt to make us all slaves of Zionist foreign policy.

    “As we have warned, and I say this with regret, the sanctions regime has started to weaken and very quickly,” said Netanyahu on Sunday during his visit to Italy. “If tangible steps are not taken soon, it is liable to collapse and the efforts of years will vanish without anything in exchange.”

    As we stated in last weeks columns, now is the time to counter attack on the subversive Zionist lobby here and everyone who has supported them against their own country. We have the rest of our lives to make them pay for the suffering they caused so many people

  • Matt Heyns

    After World War II America quickly disarmed, later blaming communist influence in government. Similarly, the popular uprising against American involvement in Vietnam led to a similar humiliation, particularly when North Vietnamese troops moved into Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, in 1975.

    What military planners in America now suspect and are voicing in an increasingly public way is the suspicion that Israel is bent on undermining US influence that it feels is no longer in line with the direction the Likudist regime in Tel Aviv envisions.

    This position it shares with Saudi Arabia though Prince Bandar bin Sultan with his vast oil resources is more wary of entangling alliances than his Israeli counterparts and well should be.

    Regime change in Saudi Arabia, even under the guise of the “Islamist” could and likely would quickly degenerate into puppet regime powerless as the kingdom’s assets are stripped away.

    In fact, this exact scenario is in more than one “playbook,” be it Tel Aviv, London or Beijing.

    • Riempies

      Matt moet jou tog asseblief nie al ewig soos n swarte gedra wat hulleself so in jou gesig afdwing nie – plaas n skakel dat mens tog n keuse het om dit te lees aldan nie.

    • Gawie

      Regtig Matt jy raak erg irriterend. Ek glo nie iemand lees wat jy spoeg en plak nie.

    • Kalium_Chloraat

      Matt, as die kennis in jou kop ontplof sal jou kuif nie eers roer nie. Hoe gaan dit met die boot waarop jy gewees het toe jy nog ‘n vlotie was?

  • Gert Velskoen

    ‘n Mens voel amper of die aarde se tektoniese plate drasties moet skuif en ‘n nuwe landmassa vorm, voor jy wil waag om kommentaar te lewer op verwikkelinge in sentraal en Oos-Europa, die plek is dan so ver! Zuma het deur sy Brics-verbintenis – met Rusland ‘n sentrale rol in daardie alliansie – vir Poetien en Rusland effens nader aan ons gebring. En dalk ook Poetien en Rusland se vraagstukke. Daar is seker veel gemeen met ons en ook tussen ons en Rusland se Kaukasiese bure. Daardie streek is ook die afgelope 20 jaar deur ‘n ingrypende politieke herskikking met ‘n nuwe (?, met Poetien steeds daar???), regerings- en ‘n vergrote besitterselite (dié wás daar in die ou Sowjet-Unie; hierdie “kommunistiese” land het heelwat stinkryk miljoenêrs gehad). Maar vele godsdiens- en kultuur-“ongelykhede” binnenslands en aan sy grense en in sy invloedsfeer. Elke nag is gewis ‘n slaaplose nag vir Poetien met Rooi Sjina en sy menigtes en militêre grofgeskut sommer so in sy agterplaas, dis verseker. Maar een belangrike saak het ons gemeen: George Soros en sy nasie se sug na politieke, godsdienstige en ideologiese mag langs die weg van hulpbronne-, ekonomiese en industriële beheer en daarom met hul neuse (met behulp nro’s en die “Open Society”), in die Afrikanervolk se private sake.

    • Guest
      • Gert Velskoen

        Thanks for the link. Het gekyk. Daardie is ‘n militêre reus.

    • Guest

      Prospects for the American regime to create disturbances and troubles in the Eurasian Balkans are dim and getting yet dimmer.

    • guest

      Rusland het beslis nie slapelose nagte oor Sjina nie. Hulle is ten volle bewus van China se plan met Afrika. Binne ‘n paar jaar sal die swartes wat nou so Sjina se lof besing agterkom, dat al die “gratis” goedjies wat hulle van ouboet gekry het, nie werkilk gratis was nie. Reuse “compounds” met honderde Sjinese spring oral oor Afrika op en hulle beplande oorname van Afrika is goed op dreef.
      Skielik sal swart boetie en sussie agterkom dat die miljoene Sjinese wat “op uitnodiging” in Afrika aanland almal grade en ambagte het en die swartes is weereens uitgesluit van alles deur hul eie onnoselheid.

  • Henkst

    Alles draai om geld en mag in die politiek!!
    Die term ‘oligarg’ is dikwels gebesig na die ineenstorting van die Sowjet-Unie toe verskillende topmense uit die Russiese sakewêreld noue bande met die politiek gehandhaaf het om so hul invloed te kon aanwend by politieke besluitneming. Maar ook in die Verenigde State van Amerika kan mens praat van ʼn oligargiese invloed van groot multinasionale maatskappye en banke op die politiek.

    • Boerseun.Z.A.R

      Yes,& we all know who owns most of the multi nationals & conglomerates.

  • Gaspard

    Ukraine’s
    Russian gambit all about cash

    By Mikhail A Molchanov

    After Ukraine’s pro-European protesters took to the streets to denounce the
    government’s backtracking on the European Union Association Agreement, things
    went south for both the protesters and the government.

    While protesters were beaten up by the police, the government endured a siege
    of both the Cabinet of Minsters and the president’s offices. The enraged crowd
    occupied municipal offices of the City of Kiev. Protesters demand resignation
    of President Viktor Yanukovych and his government and the signing of the treaty
    with the European Union. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says it was all
    orchestrated from the West.

    Only few days back, it seems Ukraine was well on its way to Europe, leaving
    Russia and its Customs Union out in the cold. The EU Vilnius summit was meant
    to bring Ukraine into the European Union fold, thus humiliating Russia and its
    designs for the rival regional association.

    However, the Vilnius summit ended with disappointing results. Ukraine had
    suddenly announced that it was putting the process on the back burner until
    “effective sales markets for the Ukrainian goods can be found”. Parallel
    to that, Ukraine’s diplomats gave another reason for ending the talks –
    “national security”.

    That was a code word for Russia’s pressure. In July, Moscow had subjected
    Ukrainian exports to new customs procedures, which lengthened the clearance
    time 10-fold and more. By mid-August, 900 freight train cars and 1,000 cargo
    trucks were stuck on the border. Trade losses averaged 20-25% of the total
    sales value. Ukraine could have lost up to US$2.5 billion in trade by the end
    of the year if the draconian customs measures had been kept in place.

    Putin’s adviser on regional integration matters, Sergei Glaziev, declared that
    that was a taste of things to come should Ukraine continue steering way from
    the Russia-led Customs Union.

    “We are preparing to tighten the customs regime just in case Ukraine takes
    the suicidal step of signing an agreement of association with the EU,” he
    said. However, were Ukraine to backtrack on its European commitments, Moscow
    would drop the price of its gas twofold or more. As Ukraine pays more for its
    gas than anyone else in Europe, Moscow was confident that its offer would not
    pass unnoticed.

    Immediately after the decision to delay the signing of the EU Association
    Agreement, mass protests erupted. Last Sunday, more than 300,000 protesters
    took to the streets in Kiev alone. A repetition of the “orange
    revolution” of 2004 seemed to be in the offing. Protesters adopted a
    resolution demanding the resignation of President Yanukovych.

    Meanwhile, the pro-government demonstrations were also gaining strength. A
    meeting of 20,000 people was called by the Party of the Regions on Friday.
    Prime Minister Mykola Azarov opined that, in addition to anti-government
    demonstrations, “there was a lot of events to support the decision of the government”.

    The general public is split in half. If in July pro-Western sympathizers were
    in the majority (55%), an October poll saw their numbers shrunk by 5%. Support
    of membership in the Customs Union is almost as high as that of the association
    with the EU.

    This may all change, however, should the government’s opportunism come to be
    perceived as incompetence. “Once again, I say that the decision was
    forced, we had no other choice, and the time, of course, will prove us
    true,” Azarov said.

    Perhaps. Ukraine’s East may still believe that the government’s actions were
    dictated by its concern over the well-being of the people. Ukraine’s West,
    however, want nothing less than the downfall of the government, which it
    perceives as being too cozy to the Kremlin.

    In truth, the benefits that Ukraine might gain from the Association Agreement
    with the EU, apart from freedom of the movement for Ukraine’s potential labor
    migrants, are few.

    It is unrealistic to believe that the EU will come up with anything similar to
    a pre-accession package that East Central Europeans used to enjoy. It is naive
    to lobby for market-access guarantees. An association agreement with Europe
    would bring little more than free trade and free travel – enough to make labor
    migrants happy, but hardly enough to guarantee jobs domestically.

    The EU insists on Ukraine’s progress on the issue of selective justice, which
    the detention of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko best exemplifies. Yet,
    the prospect of Tymoshenko’s release horrifies Yanukovych. There is no one else
    more capable to present a unified opposition to him and his government.
    Besides, the rule of law is not the first priority of Ukraine’s elite.

    European-style laws ensure transparent business practices, which might be
    applauded by many. Unfortunately for Ukraine’s oligarchs, these practices also
    would weaken the political bases of their control of the country’s economy.

    Speaking at the Vilnius summit, Yanukovych reaffirmed Ukraine’s commitment to
    sign the EU document. However, he failed to convince European leaders. While
    many expected an idealistic “leap of faith”, Kiev demanded at least
    20 billion euros (US$27 billion) a year in financial aid. [Yanukovich is now
    visiting China, where is due to stay until December 6, seeking loans and
    investment to head off a debt crisis, according to Reuters.]

    Still slow on reforms, Ukraine insisted on EU help in softening International
    Monetary Fund loan terms. Yanukovych, who himself comes from Ukraine’s
    Russian-speaking east, also proposed bringing Russia on board in Ukraine’s
    negotiations with Brussels.

    Overall, the message that the government sent to the EU was not that different
    from the one heard before: what we need is money, not the human rights sermon.
    If a hefty handout from Europe was not guaranteed, Ukraine would throw its lot
    in with Eurasia, specifically, the Eurasian Union built by Russia, Kazakhstan,
    and Belarus as a geopolitical alternative to the European Union.

    For Ukraine’s elite, this tug-of-war between Europe and Eurasia is really not
    about values, nor is it about identity. In the end, it’s all about money.

    Mikhail A Molchanov, of St Thomas University, Canada is the
    author of Political Culture and National Identity in Russian-Ukrainian
    Relations (Texas A&M University Press, 2002).

  • Schavuit

    Die Europese Unie sal nooit werk nie. Die verskille in Europa is simpelweg te groot. Hoekom moet lande as Duitsland en Nederland opgeskeep word met Roemene en Bulgare? Die linkse illusie dat ‘almal dieselfde is’ is een groot klomp stront. ‘n Duitser is geen Griek nie. Die verskil is amper soos tussen ‘n Boer en ‘n Sotho.

    Dit sal beter wees om die EU te verdeel in ‘n sogenoemde West – Europese Unie met daarin die Germaanse lande, ‘n Oos-Europese unie met die Slawiese volkere, en ‘n Suid-Europese Unie met die Romaanse volkere (Franse, Spanjaarde, Italiane, dalk Grieke). Daardie lande het dieselfde mentaliteit. Moenie die hardwerkende Duitser, Nederlander, Vlaming, etc. in ‘n selfde klomp gemors gooi as die Grieke wat nie wil werk nie.

    • Deon

      Shavuit, ek stem 100%. Stig ‘n Germaanse Koalisie en verander die wereld.

      • gas

        Die Germane is so vining besig om te verbaster en om “wereldburgerskap” na te jaag, dat ek moeilik sien hoe dit sal kan gebeur. Hulle is oorsensitief en oorversigtig na Hitler se eskapades.