The closer is the summit of “Eastern Partnership” in Vilnius (Lithuania), scheduled for November this year, the tougher is the situation around the possible signing by Ukraine at this summit of the Association Agreement (and Free Trade Zone) with the European Union.
In my previous blog I wrote about the Russian factor as powerful resistance to European ambitions of Ukraine, as well as I mentioned of the Kremlin’s agents of influence in our country. In this blog, probably, I should speak in a bit more details about the agents of the Russian Federation in the European Union itself. Alas, but there are a lot of VIPs and influential groups in the European Union, who are oriented at Russia.
It’s not too hard to understand the position of the Kremlin’s lobbyists in Brussels and Strasbourg. As the prominent Hungarian political scientist Pal Tamas wrote: “Russia for the European Union is about the same as Canada to the United States.” That is a colossal source of raw materials.
At the same time, according to Mr. Tamas, Ukraine for the EU it’s like Mexico for the United States. That is to say – cheap labor resources.
And with this analogy it is quite easy to understand that Russia is more preferable for the EU than Ukraine. As for the U.S. Canada is more important partner than Mexico.
But with this analogy the similarities end.
In the first place, because the European Union, unlike the U.S., is much more promiscuous formation. Therefore three groups, who hold different views on the future European integration of Ukraine, can be nominally allocated in the EU.
Let’s start with the friends of Ukraine. I do not find anything strange in the fact that this is our former brothers-in-arms within the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic – all of them know from own experience what the Soviet empire represents, so they strongly support Ukraine’s aspirations to finally break free from century long guardianship of Moscow.
The words of former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski that in ten years the EU will have to ask Ukraine and Turkey to join the European community are a clear illustration of the dominant opinion in Poland about the future of Ukraine. Poles’ interest is clear – as long as Ukraine will dangle between Moscow and Brussels, Warsaw will not have rest even for a moment.
The same position is shared by all the above mentioned countries, who feel Putin’s breath at every turn.
But, unfortunately for us, the opinion of younger members of the European club is not influential enough, since they all, to a greater or lesser extent, are forced to be subsidized at the expense of the founders of the EU, in the first place – Germany.
Sometimes it seems that the establishment of Germany, despite of Nuremberg and the collapse of the Berlin Wall, never came out of the “Axis of Berlin – Moscow – Tokyo” paradigm, praised by the Kremlin philosophaster Alexander Dugin. Kremlin’s interests are so close to Bonn that even searches in the European offices of “Gazprom” spring this year were not able to open eyes of the Germans on the imperial nature of the Russian statehood.
France, Denmark and the Netherlands are consonant with Germany in this. The European press is increasingly replete with insider information that the governments of these countries are not interested in the Association of Ukraine and the EU. As this may damage relations with the Russian Federation, as well as lead to a further financial weakening of the EU.
With all due respect to European colleagues, I should note that the growing shaft of such insider information indicates the presence of what we call the “intentional leak”. That is, purposeful and often corrupt publications, the essence of which – not to inform, but to manipulate the public opinion.
Thus, in perceptions of general public of the so-called “Old Europe” the image of Ukraine is formed as a kind of formation, the union with which would bring colossal harm to all residents of the Benelux countries, as well as Germany and France. That, of course, is an exaggeration.
After all, even a partial opening of borders with the EU will allow labor migration flows from Ukraine to switch over from Russia towards the European Union. And EU analysts are fully aware of all the advantages of such a process. After all, already today several millions of Ukrainians work in the EU, supporting the ailing after the crisis economy of the region. The increasing of legal, I emphasize, legal labor flows can become the lifeline for the EU.
In addition, despite the multiculturalism, much-criticized, by the way, by top officials of the European countries, cultural and religious identity in the course of labor migration is important for the receiving countries. Therefore let me ask a rhetorical question: who is closer to Europeans – Christians-Ukrainians or representatives of the Islamic world? The answer rests with the people of both countries of the “old” and “new Europe”.
By the way, countries of southern Europe – Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal – keep neutrality in respect of the European integration of Ukraine. Although they can tell a lot of positive about Ukraine and Ukrainians, as exactly in these countries live the largest diaspora of my countrymen.
But Southern Europe keeps silence for now. Probably because, being on subsidies, primarily, from Germany, they don’t get to speak much on the topic of expanding the EU’s borders to the East.
Perhaps the process of rapprochement between Ukraine and the European Union would have been much faster if it were not for the machinations of the Kremlin, of which I have already written about, and, almost certainly, will be writing again and again.
Stories that European integration will split Ukraine in two had drawn the mouth so long ago that I don’t even want to talk about this propaganda nonsense. I can only say that the introduction of a visa-free regime with the EU will increase the number of supporters of European integration, even in, would seem to, hopelessly Russified Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, so much that pro-Russian sociologists will have to fall silent on this matter once and for all.
Tales of poor quality of Ukrainian food, actively supported by the PR-agencies in Europe for the money of “Gazprom” is the same nonsense as the stories about the poor quality of Ukrainian milk on the shelves of European supermarkets. I wonder, where in the EU can I possibly buy Ukrainian milk, when there is not enough of it even for internal use?
Stories about upcoming default of Ukraine – same broken record, as the stories of Russian diplomats in Kiev that the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea is the key to stability on the peninsula. How can a bunch of rusty metal, that has long ago lost its strategic and tactical importance, be a guarantor of stability in the autonomous republic of Crimea? More likely – on the contrary. The earlier the fleet will be removed from the Crimea, the sooner situation of the cooperation with the countries of the Black Sea region, and the problems of the Crimean Tatars will be resolved in a positive manner.
But the cynicism of the Kremlin have long ago transformed the state policy of the Russian Federation into the real Goebbels’ propaganda, when the lie has to be so impudent that no one would even question its veracity.
The influential Ukrainian weekly “Zerkalo Nedeli” has recently published a mysterious document – a report to Russian president Putin on the issue how to close for Ukraine the road to the EU. And one of the items in this document appears to be: “creating a negative image of Ukraine in the European media”.
We just have to wait for the new portion of “insider information” in the newspapers and on EU websites concerning the “bad Ukraine”, so we could get convinced once again: yes, the Kremlin has very long hands. And it’s in the best interest of Europe to shorten this very hands a bit.
Of Ukraine is required, and the time is almost gone, to try to create the impression of itself as of a country, with which is not only possible but also necessary to deal with. But walk and ye shall reach.
And that our road lies precisely in the direction of European values, believe me, no one of more or less reasonable people in Ukraine doubt.
Now the important thing is to counter the opinion of these reasonable people to the shaft of delirium, which Putin and his retinue will generate in the European information space. And the closer to the summit in Vilnius, the more will be of this pseudo informational garbage.