Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 312

Will Europe stand by Ukraine after trade pact?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 27 giugno 2014

Ukraine1 – together with Georgia and Moldova – are set to sign a controversial trade pact with the European Union on Friday, June 27. It is likely to prompt Russia’s wrath, says Geopolitical Information Service author Professor Stefan Hedlund, Research Director in Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden.Russia has taken punishing measures against those nations who are seeking closer ties with the West. It was Ukraine’s refusal to sign the deal at the last moment which sparked massive riots in Kiev in November 2013 and split the nation.But will Europe turn its back on Ukraine if the former Soviet republic plunges further into crisis as Russia squeezes the last economic breath from the nation of 45 million? asks Professor Hedlund.‘The contradiction between lofty ideals and realpolitik – power and material considerations – has remained something of a founding principle of international relations,’ he says.In 2008, the Georgians believed that the door to Nato was open for them, and that they would receive support against Russian retaliation. ‘When Russian tanks rolled in, the West averted its eyes,’ says Professor Hedlund.‘Although the crisis in Ukraine has caused the rhetoric on the freedom to choose to become a bit more subdued, Western political leaders will, as a rule, still insist that Ukraine retains a right to join both Nato and the European Union, irrespective of what Russia may feel.‘Reiterating statements of the kind, which have become so central to Western political culture, may provide a feeling of warm glow, and of moral superiority’, adds Professor Hedlund. ‘But there is also a downside’.
‘When oppressed people listen to the lofty rhetoric, they may be deluded into believing that the speakers stand ready to back their words with action.’‘The tragedy in Ukraine is unlikely to be the last illustration of the ingrained Western practice of speaking loudly and carrying a limp stick.’Read Professor Hedlund’s full statement here.


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