The Ukrainian president, Pyort Poroshenko, described the year old agreement of association between Ukraine and the European Union as a “victory over Russia”. The Ukrainian leader made such a statement during the forum of the international organization Yalta European Strategy that took place in Kiev. These remarks come as Poroshenko looks for reasons that voters should re-elect him in upcoming elections.
“I can see that we have defeated Russia, and for more than a year the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union has entered into force. The EU’s share of exports ranges from 42 to 43%, rapidly approaching 50% which considerably offsets the losses caused by Russia,” Poroshenko wrote on his Twitter account.
Over the past few years Kiev has been pursuing a policy of replacing imports of Russian-made products. Meanwhile, data from the Russian Federal Customs Service previously indicated that the volume of trade between Russia and Ukraine in the period between January and May 2018 was $5.838 billion, with an increase of 28.7% over the previous year. In addition, according to the State Statistics Office of Ukraine, Russia is the largest investor in the Ukrainian economy, having contributed with 36% of all foreign investment in Ukraine.
It is worth noting that not all Ukrainian politicians share Pyotr Poroshenko’s enthusiasm for association with the EU. For example, Supreme Rada deputy Vadim Rabinovich said that the free economic zone with Europe only brought losses to the Ukrainian economy, while the suspension of economic relations with Russia, with which trade “grows every month,” may result to Ukraine in catastrophic consequences.
After anti-Russia coup forces came into power in Ukraine, relations between Moscow and Kiev rapidly deteriorated. This provided the opportunity for Crimea to reunite with Russia as the people of the peninsula sought to escape the aggressive anti-Russian stance adopted by the coup forces in Russian-majority regions of Ukraine. This in turn also saw conflict emerge between the Ukrainian military and the Russian minority of Lugansk and Donetsk.
The reality is that Merkel has made it clear that there are no plans for Ukraine to ever be a member of the EU. The association agreement gives everything the EU needs from Ukraine’s failed economy, and requires none of the obligations in return. This was the result of the 2014 coup, and since then, Ukraine’s economy has gone into a free-fall, with millions of Ukrainians having permanently left the country over the course of the past four years, and this figure does not include millions who left directly as a product of the armed conflict which was triggered as a result of the US backed/forced color revolution.