Ukrainian expert: Yanukovych takes offence at Lukashenka
7:45, — Politics
The Ukrainian president didn't forgive the Belarusian ruler for his refusal to visit Kyiv.
Andrei Zolotarev, the head of the analytical centre Third Sector, spoke to charter97.org about the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement approved by the Ukrainian government.
“The benefits today are that Europe opens its market for Ukrainian goods, though most economists think it will probably be vice versa. The regime of Viktor Yanukovych, rather authoritarian but softer than the Belarusian one, doesn't change in general. Despite the European integration, there are the next clear problems: selective justice, high corruption level and low standards of living. There are no prospects that the problems will be solved after the agreement is signed,” the analyst says.
He adds that European experts admit that serious economic benefits should not be expected soon after the agreement of association is signed.
“Russia showed Ukraine a demo version of the country's life after signing the association agreement with the EU and the free trade agreement. It imposed the customs regime it has with third countries. Ukraine lost about $3 billion in August. So signing the agreement in Vilnius remains vague. I sometimes have the impression that European officials are more interested in it than the Ukrainian authorities. Stefan Fule's list had 19 requirements, but it was later reduced to 11. Now they are speaking about 3 requirements,” the experts continues.
The politologist doesn't rule out the possibility that after signing the agreement in Vilnius Yanukovych will try to make curtseys to Russia to compensate for the lurch to Europe.
“The question is whether Vladimir Putin will forgive him. As for the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, Ukraine should have established contacts and built bridges with Belarus more actively in the time when Russia's pressure increased. Both economic experts and politologists pointed at future pluses of such cooperation,” the analyst underlines.
The political observer thinks that no breakthroughs in this direction can be expected taking into account the specific features of the Ukrainian authorities.
“Viktor Yankovych is a person who never forgets anything. Including Lukashenka's refusal to come to the celebration of the Baptism of Kievan Rus. Personal feelings are involved. Yanukovych, who positions himself as the prison chief rather than the president, demands respect from other people. If he doesn't have it, he takes offence. So, establishing closer relations between Ukraine and Belarus and attempts to resist pressure from Russia in the nearest time will be hindered by a subjective factor,” Andrei Zolotarev sums up.
We remind that Ukraine was choosing between the EU and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Russia applied pressure on Kyiv, in particular, Dmitry Medvedev said the association agreement with the European Union would close the door to the Customs Union for Ukraine.
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