Europe lets down Ukraine

Europe lets down Ukraine

Armed peacekeepers from the European Union will not be sent to Ukraine, despite reports of ceasefire violation. That was the message from Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, after he and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, had met Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on Monday, April 27, writes Prince Michael of Liechtenstein.

A ceasefire between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists was agreed in Minsk in February 2015.

President Poroshenko had asked the EU or the United Nations to send peacekeeping forces to eastern Ukraine where separatists are once more shelling villages on the outskirts of Mariupol.

Ukraine’s internal economic, social and especially governance problems are just as big an issue for the country as fighting the separatists. There is too much state with inappropriate laws and their application is resulting in corruption which is hard to solve. It seems it is difficult to implement the same measures Georgia used to stamp out corruption there.

Georgia’s solution was that President Mikheil Saakashvili (2004-2013) drastically reduced the headcount of state bureaucracy and cut bureaucracy in general by radically reducing and streamlining laws. Former President Saakashvili is now a government adviser to Kiev where tackling corruption seems to be more difficult.

Ukraine needs money, but international support is tied to Ukraine’s progress in introducing these internal reforms. Ukraine’s government, especially Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has tried very hard to achieve reform. Now he is desperate.

Europe and Ukraine ‘succeeded’ in signing an association agreement in March 2014. The problem is that this is just a piece of paper. Europe is unable to support Ukraine financially and unwilling to support it militarily when it faces a desperate situation. Europe has manoeuvred itself into a position where Ukraine will be let down because Europe lacked political foresight and displayed military weakness.

Ukraine now risks disaster and Europe will have to pay a huge political price sometime in the future. Russia will present the bill when it books its victory in the first stage of the new Cold War.

Related report:

The return of the Cold War

Russia and the West in the wake of Ukraine’s crisis

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