EU, Russia Ready to Offer Incentives to Ukraine
The EU and Russia have both declared their readiness to offer economic and financial incentives to secure closer ties with Ukraine.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, that she believed the bloc could work with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Kiev's concerns after the Eastern European country refused to sign an Association Agreement.
"We are very concerned when we look at some of the things that are being said, and my purpose in talking to President Yanukovych was to discover what these short-term economic issues are that have prevented him from signing," Ashton said ahead of an EU foreign ministers meeting.
"I feel that we can work with him to resolve those. Some of them can be done through the support of the European Union, others through financial institutions, some of them through the private sector. All of them are possible,” she said, as cited by CNN.
Meanwhile, Kremlin adviser Andrei Belousov suggested on December 16 that a loan to help Ukraine cope with its economic difficulties could be agreed at talks between Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 17 in Moscow.
Belousov did not say how much Russia would offer Ukraine. However, Radio Free Europe reports that sources in Ukraine said the deal could be worth USD 15 B, with Moscow offering some USD 3 B to USD 5 B up front.
EE/AA is way more interesting longer term than Russia’s customs union for Ukraine. Yanukovich and Putin will make some kind of agreement but it will not last long..Yanukovich is on his way out....Ukraine cannot have pride whilst it is being subsidized by Moscow. Customs union might work OK for central Asia but Ukraine has a better chance to develop economically and politically with the EU. Moldova manages to export to the E.U. after bully boy Putin stopped Moldova wine via propoganda. That reminds me I need to buy a bottle.
I hear You, Hew. Look, those "protestors" and their "protests", it's the Ukrainian business, right, and if so, then
nobody should interfere. "Petro-roubles"? May be, Hew, but how and what for Ukraine will spend them? And about those people protesting in the cold: they are warmly dressed, timely and well fed, and some of them paid, Hew. Everything in Maidan is properly organised, too properly, imo.
I don't think the E.U. will have to do too much dragging looking at the protests in Kiev. Moscow will throw some petro roubles at Ukraine and the E.U. will not enter a bidding war which could make this whole process very long for those people protesting in the cold.
It's simple, Huw: USA/EU do their best to drag Ukraine in the sphere of their influence. It has nothing in common with "democracy" for Ukrainians, Huw, but everything in common with the "Drang Nach Osten". For me the bitter irony of the moment is that the West wants this "Drang", this "push eastward" to be paid by Ukraine (and, may be, by Russia).
Probably Vova Putin will agree (while the tomorrow's meeting with Yanukovich) to borrow Ukraine with money.
And what about Your EU, Catherine? ;-)