Time to Get Ukraine into NATO and EU

About damned time that someone took notice of this most important nation (strategically) for European security. And hurray that the Germans finally seem to understand how important this is.

[quote]BERLIN: Challenging the European Union’s cautious policies toward Ukraine, a group of leading U.S. and European officials have joined forces to prepare Ukraine for eventual membership in both NATO and the EU, despite the continuing political turmoil in the country and enlargement fatigue inside the 27-member bloc. The initiative, led by a former U.S. national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and a former German defense minister, Volker Rühe, reflects a growing concern that unless Ukraine is given the prospect of EU and NATO membership, the chances for long-term stability and economic, political and social reforms could remain elusive.

Meeting in Berlin, the U.S.-EU Partnership Committee, as it is called, said that it believed that if the EU reached out to Ukraine, it would achieve two beneficial things: stability for Europe and assurances to Russia. “The committee urged U.S. and European leaders to remember that an independent, democratic and market-orientated Ukraine will contribute to a more stable and secure Europe,” said Brzezinski, counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Such a policy could also show to Russia that European policy toward Ukraine was not intended to alienate Russia.

“We want to advance the cause of a larger Europe and a more cooperative Europe,” added Brzezinski, who was speaking at the German Council on Foreign Relations, which hosted the conference. “In that context, a closer and better relationship between Ukraine and Europe that is open would not exclude Russia becoming involved in an open and cooperative enterprise with Europe.” The U.S.-EU Partnership Committee proposed that one concrete area for cooperation between the EU and Ukraine could be the security and reliability of energy supplies. Ukraine is the major transit country for Russian gas exports to Europe.

Russia’s state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, cut its deliveries to Ukraine last year, officially because of a dispute over the price of gas. But analysts said it was the Kremlin’s response to Ukraine’s pro-democratic Orange Revolution. The committee proposed a reform of Ukraine’s energy policies, with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to reduce corruption, introduce transparency and modernize the energy infrastructure.

The EU, which has become frustrated with the bitter infighting between the pro-Western Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko, and the pro-Russian prime minister, Viktor Yanukovich, is reluctant to hold out any prospect of Ukraine’s joining the bloc. Several countries, including Germany, also fear that NATO membership would affect Berlin’s close ties to Moscow. Instead, the EU said it had offered Ukraine and other countries in the region a “neighborhood policy.” Under the plan, countries that enact reforms would have greater access to trade with the EU and economic, social and political ties with the bloc would be strengthened. Regardless of the reforms, it would not lead to membership of the EU.

Rühe is unusual in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party because he supports Ukraine’s and Turkey’s joining the EU, while Merkel favors a privileged partnership for Turkey, similar to the “neighborhood policy.” “The European neighborhood policy should be enhanced and should not be a substitute for potential EU membership for Ukraine,” Rühe said.

Bronislaw Geremek, a former Polish foreign minister and now a member of the European Parliament who is on the U.S.-EU Partnership Committee for Ukraine, warned about “enlargement fatigue” inside the EU. Despite that, he said Ukraine should start preparing for when it will be in a position to negotiate membership, that is, it should introduce the rule of law and implement the EU’s standards, regulations and legislation.[/quote]
iht.com/articles/2007/05/14/ … kraine.php

And Ukraine is keen to increase its cultural exports

youtube.com/watch?v=eX_rNEPIgc8

[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”]And Ukraine is keen to increase its cultural exports

youtube.com/watch?v=eX_rNEPIgc8[/quote]

Up to what really matters there BFM! Thumbs up! :bravo:

Regarding Fred’s article:

Says who? Contrary view here.

Two projections with different outcomes. One has the disabvantage though to be backed up by Fred Smith. :slight_smile:

Games -
Go back to your video games.

While you have referenced an interesting article, written by a Brit with such well received works as Decadent America Must Give Up Imperial Ambitions and Bush’s Middle East Democracy Flop, it unfortunately has scant relevance to the Ukraine becoming a part of the European Union.

Post edited as I failed to read the entire title. My mistake. Apologies.

I think all of you have missed the point. I think Fred Smith’s view that Ukraine needs to be dragged into Western Europe’s fold is stragically sound and moves that ‘iron curtain’ if I may use that term ever more eastwards.

I also think that Western Europe recognizes this. The difference in thinking though, is based on where the EU currently stands as an entity. Perhaps its suffered from overexpansion in terms of the pace at which its done so. The EU is an unwieldly thing at the best of times. Its veto system on policy changes only becomes more cumbersome the larger the EU gets.

I think EU reform is needed before further expansion, with a replacement of its internal policies to a more practical vote based system. Meanwhile, the idea of pulling Ukraine westward by offering economic enticements similar to those of other EU member countries (with appropriate reform), is a sensible compromise that in time is likely to lead to full membership.

IMHO, the non-promise of membership is possibly more related to politics at home, with current the current EU populace fearful of the results of further expansion.

Exactly. Numerous strategists have pointed out that without Ukraine, Russia can never again become a Eurasian Empire. IF or perhaps even WHEN Ukraine becomes once again a Russian possession, that has huge ramifications in terms of power projection for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. It also greatly affects the ability of nations in Central Asia and the Caucasus to remain independent. This would also put huge pressure (militarily) on the forward positions of NATO and the EU (the Baltics). The authors of various reports have labeled the following nations as linchpins in geostrategic shifts of magnitude (Korea, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine). Anyone care to disagree?

[quote]I also think that Western Europe recognizes this. The difference in thinking though, is based on where the EU currently stands as an entity. Perhaps its suffered from overexpansion in terms of the pace at which its done so. The EU is an unwieldly thing at the best of times. Its veto system on policy changes only becomes more cumbersome the larger the EU gets.

I think EU reform is needed before further expansion, with a replacement of its internal policies to a more practical vote based system. Meanwhile, the idea of pulling Ukraine westward by offering economic enticements similar to those of other EU member countries (with appropriate reform), is a sensible compromise that in time is likely to lead to full membership.

IMHO, the non-promise of membership is possibly more related to politics at home, with current the current EU populace fearful of the results of further expansion.[/quote]

Given that Ukraine represents the difference between a militarily behemoth (Russia) and one that can be managed without huge military outlays, I would question the European shortsightedness in doing everything possible to guarantee that Ukraine is NOT only neutral but also an ACTIVE support to Europe. So many pipelines (energy security) also cross Ukraine. Why is it that Europe seems incapable or unwilling to act in an arena that is literally of such great importance to its strategic future as to literally represent a knife to the throat? I don’t think that anyone would suggest that I am exaggerating here. What gives? Is Europe so feeble and so feckless as to have become hopeless? I hope not.

[quote]EU hikes financial aid to Ukraine
(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission said Wednesday that it would almost double its financial aid to Ukraine over the next four years to help Kiev undertake EU-oriented reform. The aid will climb to 123 million euros (162 million dollars) a year from 2007-2010 compared to 70 million euros annually from 2004-2006 and is aimed at supporting reforms needed to implement an EU-Ukraine Action Plan. The Commission’s announcement coincides with a visit to Brussels by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who is expected to plead his country’s case as a future EU member, despite reluctance among some member states. The EU is Ukraine’s biggest provider of financial aid and has supplied Kiev with some two billion euros (2.6 billion dollars) since the breakup of the former Soviet Union in 1991. The new funds will be used to help integrate Ukraine’s energy market with that of the EU, develop gas and oil infrastructure and make progress on energy efficiency. They will also help strengthen border and immigration management, boost the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary as well as improve water quality. The EU and Ukraine launched talks Monday aimed at drawing Kiev closer to the EU and setting up a free-trade area, but the bloc underlined that this did not mean it would one day enter the club. [/quote]

eubusiness.com/Finance/1173283214.97/

A doubling of money to $162 million per year. A good start but is this really all the EU can do for this oh-so-important nation? I am calculating $2.6 billion since 1991 independence over 16 years and getting: $162 million per year. Ironically, this increase in monies is set to reach the historical average over the past 16 years.

Now, seriously does anyone not think that Ukraine is important to Europe and to keeping the Russian imperial beast chained? Shouldn’t this be vastly increased? And if ANY nation remaining outside Europe were to be offered the chance to join, why not Ukraine? Even over Serbia? Kosovo? Macedonia? Bosnia? Albania? Montenegro? I suppose Croatia is an easy addition, but would this not also supply the much needed labor that Europe needs? as opposed to importing it anyway from North Africa and Turkey which is happening anyways? Just curious to see whether the Europeans on this forum view this as being of strategic importance as I do. If not, why not?

Fred

“Chain the Imperial Beast NOW!” … bit hysteric choice of words, isn’t it? Very much in line though with what this article at the American Conservative attests, isn’t it? “To Russia with Reason”.

Erm … as you said: The EU can already legally and illegally import labor from Turkey, North Africa, Eastern Europe, the Ukraine and pretty much from anywhere where people bother to leave and cover the distance to EU-Land (keeping the undesirables amongst immigrants out seems to be a much more real problem actually).

The Ukraine thus has to be added to the EU with regards again?

Let’s put it this way. If you really can see no difference in let’s say size or geopolitical position between the Balkan and the Ukraine I doubt it would make any difference if someone explained it to you.

But … as mentioned elsewhere: if you indead are the “Will of America” and you do consider it cruical that the Ukraine and Turkey right now(!) and immediately join a Western Trade Club then feel free to set one up by yourself. Call that US-Ukraine-Turkey triangle the “Black Sea Economic Alliance - BSEA” or whatever you like. Free reign there, you can have it for all I am concerned.

Have fun. :sunglasses:

I for my part see no need to for an endrush in either case.

Well, well, well… aren’t we getting to be the equivalent of Big Fluffy Matthew? Shouldn’t you have posted something about the 68er generation again? You must be slipping up…

Your European government have thrown quite a hissy fit in Samara. Why? Because of my views on Ukraine?

OH I am sorry, I think that Europeans were worried about the decline in their population and the increase in Muslim births. Wouldn’t Ukraine do something to address that? Or did I miss something again?

See above… Actually, why not rephrase that to look up. Off the floor. Rise to the occasion.

Explain away, and please in light of the linchpin argument made earlier address how say Macedonia meets your strategic needs in ways that Ukraine does not. Oh I forgot. How about Montenegro? Albania? Be sure and back up your views with the appropriate sources. haha

We are working with both very closely. In fact, we are instrumental in Ukraine’s WTO bid and efforts. Also, we have a very close economic relationship with Turkey. I am not asking you to discuss Turkey at this time. Let’s just focus on Ukraine. I think that might be more than enough for you to handle. Now take a puff of spliff and go back to discussing that all-important 68er generation. (I was born in 1965 you know… not quite the same thing surely?) haha

I am. I like it when German intellectuals such as yourself post. It puts paid to the notion that somehow Europeans are more well-informed, sophisticated or knowledgeable about world issues. Post away my friend. You are a median point between Big Fluffy Matthew and Bob with whiffs of MFGR and Jaboney thrown in. In other words, not a pretty sight. haha

I have little doubt that you do not but what of your national governments. They seem to be singing a different tune. Why is that? Maybe you shouldn’t vote for them next time. They seem to all be coming down with freditis. Surely, that cannot be good. It would mean a return of the 68er generation even though it was voted out in Germany. Strange how all this works, eh?

Been reading a lot of Critical Theory recently. It amuses me but also vaccinates one to the allure of leftist claptrap theory. Very interesting points all and very sensible except what does it all rest on? a belief in Marxism and now that this has been discredited, what are we to do with these otherwise sensible theories? It makes for a most amusing conundrum. Such surety, now such defections? I believe EVEN Fischer’s beloved Habermas has come out in defense of Christianity and the European tradition. Who would have thought? Must be quite a shock to those all-knowing cynics such as yourself, but hey I get it. A persona is a much needed cloak for those who don’t actually have a belief system of any sort. That is why I find discussing these things with you amusing. Your need to be amusing is stressed more than your need to achieve anything at all. Nihilism in all its glory. Why even Bob wouldn’t fall to that depth… Maybe he would if I pushed him. What do you think? haha

So whither our philosophizing now? Back to a CHRISTIAN enlightenment or an attempt to revive the Marxism of old? What do you think? What would you like to see? Where do you see the European “mind” going?

In the background, Shostakovich plays. Again, I have no idea why I have been so enthralled with him and his music recently. Maybe you might have some views? I would love to be so entertained. Please step up to the plate. I am bored.

Why not just pre-empt the whole deal, and get Russia on board as well. Why leave the whole left flank exposed? Why?

North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The first thing that ego-bound teat needs is a name change.
Move the whole shebang into a fresh new HQ on the Volga.
Get down to brass tacks, and move the frontage.

Why not get Russia to join the EU? Why not indeed? I suppose if Russia were a democracy with a credible judicial system and a player that cooperated with the EU members closely on security and human rights it would eventually be considered for membership. Is Russia willing or able to meet those conditions?

Regardless, IF Russia were the type of candidate to qualify, it would hardly want to see others like Georgia, Azerbaidzhan and especially Ukraine join right?

Also, why the continued support for gangster ridden Transdneistria? or South Ossetia? or Abkhazia? Does this fit the picture for an EU candidate nation?