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    December 25, 2014

    EU is Tired of Ukraine and Poroshenko

    Media Expert/Blogger Anatoliy Shariy
    Pyotr Alekseyevich has problems. They can remain unnoticed only by the entirely “undecided voters”, or Poroshenko’s own entourage which wishes him to fall.
    Yes, indeed, it is his retinue that desires his fall, because to ignore all the blows which he has suffered during this short time in power one has to be either an idiot, or a well motivated actor playing an idiot.
    As we already wrote, the attacks on Pyotr Alekseyevich were all too public not to notice them or retaliate against them.
    His rating inside the country has fallen, and his hateful enemies were joined by contemptuous “allies”. But the prestige of our President is rapidly falling on the international arena as well. His enemies are doing their best to facilitate that fall, for example, by blocking aid convoys.
    Pyotr Alekseyevich was not invited to meet with Donald Tusk (during his visit in Warsaw), or to Brussels. And this was no ordinary meeting, but something of significance—the first session of the Association Council.
    On December 16 "The European Truth" published an article describing the reasons for the refusal.
    “Against the meeting was Donald Tusk, the new president of the Council of Europe. He assured that such a visit would not be timely, so therefore it was best for Poroshenko not to come. But one should not take offense against this unconditional friend of our country, the former Polish Prime Minister Tusk. He is correct—Europeans are “tired” of Ukraine. In a short while the very word ‘Ukraine” will begin to irritate them.”
    Having “forgotten” to invite Poroshenko, they invited Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. Incidentally, the head of the Cabinet of Ministers was relegated to the role of a hapless beggar.
    “The very first meeting of the Association Council did not bring much help to its Ukrainian participants. The official press release contained not a single word concerning new forms of aid by the EU. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk could not conceal his irritation when speaking to the press.
    The best illustration of the problem was the dialogue between Yatsenyuk and Commissar Johannes Hahn at the press conference. Responding to prime minister’s ‘Ukraine needs money yesterday’ Hahn responded that there will be no money ‘yesterday’ or, for that matter, today. Money will become available only after Ukrainian reforms.”
    Nobody is even playing at diplomacy or attempting to demonstrate “friendship”. The time for assurances has come and gone, now one has to give account of progress, but Europe cannot detect any signs of Ukraine’s desire to carry out reforms.
    With journalists present, Arseniy Yatsenyuk continued to insist to Hahn that his country needed money:
    “For changes to occur Ukraine needs an influx of cash.”
    Johannes Hahn remained implacable and tough:
    “We are prepared to, and want to, offer Ukraine an unprecedented level of financial support, but I wish to make one thing understood: implementation of reforms is the condition for aid.”
    The European politician made it clearly understood that the situation in Ukraine’s government is being closely watched, and attach no importance to official announcements. The situation appears clear.
    “The government of Ukraine still has not created a position of First Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration. And some ministries have already rid themselves of their deputy ministers for European affairs, who were supposedly appointed through a competitive process."
    So why is the President of Ukraine being ignored by the West? Apparently it is not merely the “Ukraine fatigue”, but also exhaustion from Kiev continuously demanding to fulfill political and financial obligations. And not only the EU is “tired”, the US is as well.
    And while the Prime Minister playing the role of a hapless beggar is entirely acceptable to the West, the President, who once again would have launched a round of requests for “lethal aid”, would have placed the EU and the US in a position of irresponsible partners who do not wish to help the “young Ukrainian democracy.”
    This could not be allowed, so Poroshenko was not invited. It’s simply that Poroshenko who, in principle, ought to understand the difference between agreements behind closed doors and public announcements, had already more than once placed his “Western partners” in a difficult situation.
    Yes, he was promised, but promises exist to be broken! Even if someone had jokingly promised you something, you should not make this public and demand, before the entire world, that the promise be fulfilled.
    And since there was nothing to talk about with Poroshenko, except for military assistance which nobody is about to render, he could be easily replaced with Yatsenyuk who would only ask for money. This is acceptable to Yatsenyuk because it allows him to assume the leading role by discussing (if without results) the country’s economic situation.
    Moreover, in Yatsenyuk’s interpretation, he has obtained a few “victories.” For example, Donald Tusk’s announcement from December 21 that Ukraine may receive up to 2 billion dollars from the EU.
    “We are dealing with a situation that requires an immediate response, therefore we cannot wait until next year since it may be too late already this year. The situation requires financial aid, and we are prepared for it. It is not the full sum that Ukraine needs, because its needs are very large, but it is a serious amount.”
    Incidentally, Arseniy Petrovich is not about to tell Ukrainians about the true motives for EU’s aid, namely the drop in Ukraine’s sovereign credit rating by Standard and Poor’s on December 19th.
    S&P lowered Ukraine’s foreign currency rating from CCC to CCC-. The future forecast was changed from “stable” to “negative.” This means it may worsen in the future.
    S&P also lowered the long-term domestic currency securities rating from B- to CCC+, with the forecast changed from “stable” to “negative”.
    Short-term credit rating in national currency was lowered from B to C rating on the national scale from uaBBB- to uaB+.
    In S&P usage, a CCC- rating indicates that the country is about to declare a default and has few chances of improving the situation.
    “If the current conditions do not change, in particular if the country does not receive additional foreign financial aid, Ukraine may declare a default in the next few months.”
    These are the true reasons for EU’s aid, not Yatsenyuk’s assurances and pleas. Which, I repeat, will not prevent Yatsenyuk from presenting it as a victory on the international arena. While Poroshenko has nothing to boast about.
    Poroshenko, of course, did travel to Warsaw (where Tusk refused to meet him), but the Poles likewise could not conceal their disappointment with Ukraine’s president.
    “Poroshenko found a few nice words about Poland’s latest history, the Volyn affair. He fell back on a tried-and-true formula, namely the teachings of John Paul II…
    That’s good so far as it goes, but, unfortunately, he could not find a place for us in solving Ukraine’s current problems. Poroshenko did not say that he did not like it, that he could not imagine a situation in which Poland remained uninvolved. He simply accepts it as a done deal: there is no place for Poland in Minsk, and therefore Ukraine’s future is being decided without Poland’s participation.”
    “It is wholly apparent that Poroshenko views Poland as a long-term representative, but not as a strategic player, at least not at the present. Yesterday he talked with Merkel, Hollande, and Putin on the developments in Ukraine. Poland did not participate in that conversation.
    Incidentally, Poroshenko not even once said that he cannot imagine further negotiations on Ukraine without Warsaw’s presence. If anything, he said the opposite.”
    At the same time, against the background of the evident cooling of the EU-Ukraine relationship, the EU-Russia relationship is returning to a more cordial format.
    For example, on December 19 Angela Merkel unexpectedly said that Putin “ought to be taken at his word.”
    “If he (the president of Russia) says that he is committed to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, that we ought take him at his word and work on accomplishing it.”
    Whose word—“aggressor’s, invader’s”? And what about the word of the President of Ukraine?
    Add to the above the appointment of Aleksandr Turchinov to the post of Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, and you get the full picture of Poroshenko’s complete defeat.
    Regional elites no longer wonder whom they should negotiate with, it is all too clear now.
    Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs Gerashchenko does not even attempt to hide who the head of the National Security and Defense Council had become:
    “In actuality Aleksandr Turchinov will be the Vice-President of Ukraine responsible for matters of defense, security, the half-destroyed military-industrial complex, and the strategy for regulating the conflict that began after Russia’s incursion into Crimea.”
    Pyotr Alekseyevich, maybe your not your sleeping team, but you surely can see for yourself what is happening?

    Translated from Russian by Mike for FortRuss.blogspot.com

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