Ukraine shocks West with EU decision
November 21st, 2013
08:42 PM ET

Ukraine shocks West with EU decision

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

For the past year, Ukraine insisted it was intent on signing an historic political and trade agreement with the European Union, but on Thursday, the government in Kiev made the surprising last-minute decision to suspend talks with the EU, drawing dismayed reaction from Europe and the United States.

Commenting on the news just minutes after it broke, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki that if reports were true "and if the decision is the Ukrainian government's final decision," the Obama administration was "disappointed."

Psaki said the U.S. believes there was "ample time to resolve all remaining obstacles to signing the association agreement ... with sufficient effort and commitment."

The deal, the EU's "Eastern Partnership," was aimed at creating closer political and economic ties and fostering economic growth among the nations of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, including Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. The agreement was expected to be signed next week at a summit in in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The UK called Ukraine's decision a "missed opportunity." Ukrainian opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for the impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych, media reported.

Yanukovych is in a tight spot. Under severe economic pressure from Ukraine's giant neighbor, Russia, not to join the EU, the Ukrainian President also was facing a key EU demand that he was unwilling to meet: free former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, his bitter political opponent. Two years ago, she was found guilty of abuse of office in a Russian gas deal and sentenced to seven years in prison in a case wide seen as politically motivated. Her supporters say she needs to travel abroad for medical treatment.

David Kramer of Freedom House, a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization, said Thursday "Yanukovych has decided it's more important to keep Tymoshenko in prison than to integrate Ukraine closer toward Europe. He has left his country vulnerable to Vladimir Putin's threats and pressure. That will be Yanukovych's legacy if he doesn't reverse course."

Anders Aslund, an economist and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute in Washington, says that by not signing the EU agreement, Ukraine "has missed a great opportunity to integrate with Europe and modernize its state."

Aslund says that since August, "Russia has effectively imposed sanctions on Ukraine in an escalating economic war to discourage it from turning west. Now it appears that Russia's sanctions have had a substantial and desired effect."

Russia's role in Ukraine's about-face is raising the ire of member of the U.S. Congress.

Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, senior Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sponsored a resolution supporting nations of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus trying to move closer to Europe as part of the Eastern Partnership initiative. The resolution passed this week, and Engel said it "should signal that the international community will not stand idly by when Russia attempts to dictate its neighbors' relationships with Europe."
Aslund calls Ukraine's decision not to sign the EU agreement "a sad day for Ukraine and Europe."

Yanukovych, he says, has no real desire to improve his country's economy. His aim, Aslund says, "appears to be to transfer financial resources and companies to what is known as the Yanukovych family, a group of young businessmen, who are quickly buying up both private and public companies at rock-bottom prices. They are the only permitted buyers in key industries."

The worse Ukraine's economic situation is, he says, "the cheaper these companies are for the young robber capitalists." The sad outcome?
Yanukovych ends up "excessively dependent on Putin" and also liable for blame for blocking Ukraine's European integration, "which a large majority of the Ukrainian people supports."

soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. georgio

    Wake-up posters–WWII was all about who was going take over Europe. Germans lost Russians lost but USA owns and controls all of Europe EU. Ukraine is a vital area for USA to control . USA's main goal, has always been to attack Russia ( cause mainly ousting Russian Jews). EU/NATO is a tool created by USA to confront Russia and China. are building up preparations for WWIII–against Russia All

    November 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Well put, georgio. How true that is!!!

      November 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  2. Gary

    Engel is mad because he thinks Russia is "dictating" Ukraine's relationship with the EU? Never mind the U.S. thinks that they have the right to dictate policy for the entire world. Just another U.S. politician that believes that the U.S. can do whatever is wants but nobody else better try it.

    November 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Good posting, Gary. It's so good to see intelligent posts like yours on this web page! Thank you.

      November 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  3. Donald A Thomson

    The EU demanded the Ukraine parliament pass a law overruling their judicial system and releasing Tymoshenko from jail. The USA and therefore the EU love her because she led a successful coup when Yanukovich was democratically elected for the first time. The Ukrainian MPs refused. End of story.

    November 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  4. Gricko

    CNN is so behind in world news as it is not covering unrest in Ukraine...or turning a blind eye???

    November 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      If think that there's unrest in Ukraine now Gricko, just wait until it joins the EU. The same that occurred in Italy and Greece will happen there, too!!!

      November 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  5. Tommy

    Why is the U.S. involved in these negotiations? What business is it of ours?

    If it weren't for the U.S., Ukraine would have been much more likely to join the E.U. It wouldn't have been any big deal. Everybody knows that the U.S. would have wanted to expand NATO further and sell them a bunch of weapons - financed by the U.S. taxpayer, of course.

    November 23, 2013 at 11:39 am | Reply
  6. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    November 23, 2013 at 12:15 am | Reply
    • Bob Kebic

      Let's don't be too hasty in those accusations and I am a Serb-American with a plenty of "ax to grind"! NATO carved off Kosovo, the original Serbian state since the 7th Century and gave to Albanian rebels as a separate Islamic country. At least Iran kept all its land and eventually got the government they wanted – a bad choice if you ask me.
      America can't change any country's system without support of local population otherwise Cuba and Venezuela would be different today. Did United States make a mistake here and there – sure it has, no one is perfect! At the same time United States was overwhelmingly fighting for a good cause throughout the world.

      November 23, 2013 at 5:23 am | Reply
      • Gerald O'Hare

        On the other hand Bob, had the U.S. not jumped into the First World War, Germany would have won and therefor most probably not have been a second. Moreover, we should have let the Russians occupy all of Korea after WW2 just as we did J apan and therefor would not have been a Korean conflict. As for Vietnam, we should and could have found a way for the Vietnamese to unite peacefully but didn't. The bottom line here is that our butting into foreign wars tend to do more harm than any good!

        November 23, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • George patton

        Thank you, Gerald. You said it all!!!

        November 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  7. ed camilo

    Ukrainia , apparently is not quite ready to sell her soul and give up her independence.!

    November 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      What!!! Yanukovych just gave up Ukraine's independence! Ukraine will now be controlled by Putin who is nothing more than another dictator. By conquering Ukraine (without a shot being fired), Putin wins . . . and wins BIG!

      November 23, 2013 at 9:22 am | Reply
      • StanCalif

        Apparently, Yanukovych decided it is impossible for his government to end corruption, selected justice, bribes and all the other corrupt behavior of the "new rich" in Ukraine. The Yanukovych government decided to abandon any ties with the EU and purse Putin's model. Good luck Ukraine! You just lost your independence! From now on, you will have to do what Putin tells you to do! Good luck!

        November 23, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • ultramod

        As opposed to being controlled by the USA? Ukraine and Russia have centuries old historic ties. The number is far greater than 10%, that is hogwash. Live in Ukraine and Belarus for 20 years, and you will see that number of 10% is isolated only in the western regions. Those Ukrainian polling agencies are run by the US State Department BTW

        November 24, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  8. Awabnavi

    It seems that the Imperialistic West wants everything done its way like as spoiled child. They throw tantrums when they don't get their way. LOL! Thanks God that Russia is still relevant, otherwise...........?

    November 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • midgetPutin

      Russia is only relevant in making the world a more worse place! Without russia earth would be close to heaven, with the russians its just an insecure dangerous primitive place!

      November 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
      • ed camilo

        Ask the unemployed in the west how close to heaven are they!

        November 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • ultramod

        As opposed to the USA making the world safer? Sure, with all those countries the USA has invaded in the past decade, it is difficult to find any sanity in your statement.

        November 24, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • 2Bob

      Yes, the west is so childish. They would have liked Stalin not to sign a deal with Hitler early in WW2 as well. But then Russia and the old Soviet Union have always been good at shooting themselves in the head thanks to their desire for a "strong" leader and continued desire to dominate their neighbors.

      November 23, 2013 at 12:06 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      The mistake the West keeps making over and over again is believing in "democratic" governance. The UK understood this problem long ago. You cannot transform to a democratic government overnight. The old UK understood this. To transform people into a true democracy takes more than a century. Just holding elections means nothing! Without some sort of "rule of law" in place, nothing good happens! New tyrants are "elected" but nothing changes.
      The Ukraine just decided that creating new justice systems and eliminating rampant corruption just can't be done, they chose to join Putin's new "USSR" and gave up joining the EU! Tomorrow, Ukraine will no longer be an independent country. You will have to obey Putin from now on! Good job, Yanukovych, I wish you well!

      November 23, 2013 at 10:47 am | Reply
  9. Jamie Estevez

    Europe...America...the Ukraine doesn't belong to you and never will as long as Russia is strong.

    November 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • midgetPutin

      Russia is a joke and not strong! If the west stop buy russian gas they are going down the drain! Russia has nothing the world needs! The technology and infrastructure is outdated, the system corrupt, the people alcoholics with a big HIV and muslim problem! Im glad I was born in the west and not in russia with putin as dictator!

      November 22, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
      • LambdaUA-Asia

        You didn't get it: Russia has one third of all natural resources in this world. EU can't stop to buy 100% GAS and Oil from Russia.

        November 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
      • mujo

        and you obviously never traveled to Russia and probably not to many other countries either...but you have every right to be ignorant and stupid.

        November 23, 2013 at 1:21 am |
      • StanCalif

        I have traveled to Russia and to Egypt. Russians need a strong dictator, Egypt needs a strong dictator. "Democracy" just does not translate in these countries. Without dictators, they are hopeless!

        November 23, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • Ian

        Muslims aren't a problem, the west policies created radical muslims after they watched their loved ones die one after the other, with no one to file their grievance to. However, if their grievance ever made it to the UN, the exceptional ones would either veto or block the resolution. Funny how it's okay to kill, but yet every politician declares their faith in their religion. So before anyone considers any group a problem, look at the history and plight of said people!

        November 23, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  10. Kelly Gomez

    Stand strong and don't let the BIG countries and Union push you around!

    November 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • Neo

      If you are a kreml writer stand to it and dont falsify your name! Ukraine now decided under the russian puppet president to become a satellite state of russia!

      November 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  11. Olaf Big

    Told ya all so a week ago. There is no carrot big enough for EU to dangle, for Ukraine to forget the Russian stick.

    November 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • PreachJohn

      Olaf, you think too Small.

      November 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  12. JerseyJeff

    With the massive popular support in Ukraine to have closer relations with the EU and not with Russia, I think we can expect Ukraine to have another "Orange Revolution" sooner rather than later.

    Russia pulled a bunch of dirty tricks to twist Ukraine's arm, but the Ukrainian people know the Regions Party and their leader are just Russian puppets.

    Too bad for Ukraine... they have to watch all these nations to the West become more stable and free while they flounder in the East. I can only imagine their frustration.

    November 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • Olaf Big

      Man, you are naive beyond all hope. Look at the map. EU is an amorphous association of countries to busy with their own problems, to seriously try to pull a satellite out of the Russian orbit. Russia holds all the cards in the Ukraine, and always will.

      November 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • King

        And you are just dumb. the EU is the biggest economy of the world and russia is just a wannabe under full control of this pygmy, in napoleon size (really they have same size) living from petrol and gas sells to the EU only with zero industry!

        November 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
      • JerseyJeff

        1) There hasn't been a Russian orbit since 1991. Only Russia thinks they have a "sphere of influence"

        2) Since when is it acceptable to ignore the will of the people in a supposedly democratic country?

        You should not believe the old Soviet propaganda about 'brothers' because Ukraine as well as the rest of East Europe never saw Russia as a brother and never wanted to be in their empire or "sphere of influence"

        November 23, 2013 at 6:59 am |
  13. Takogo kak Putin

    Ukraine was and is an integral part of greater Russia. The Washington goons should back off and let Russia handle Russian things. The Ukes can drink all the whiskey they want and build monuments to Stefan Pandera they will always been Russian.

    November 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • JerseyJeff

      I have yet to meet a Ukrainian who wants to be "part of a greater Russia"

      What you said sounds more like the CCCP propaganda garbage they used to tell Russians about the countries they subjugated. Wasn't true then and still isn't now.

      November 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
      • Olaf Big

        Boy, you just don't get it, do you? You have not met a Ukrainian who wants Ukraine to be part of Russia? Ever met a Ukrainian who wants to freeze to death for the cause of independent Ukraine? On another note, ever checked how many Russians live in Ukraine? You really need to take Russian Empire 101.

        November 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • JerseyJeff

        @Olaf Big

        Interesting you bring up Ukrainians of Russian ethnicity.

        2 of Ukraine's biggest and most used poll services found a majority of ethnic Russians also supported closer ties with the EU over Russia.

        Check: GfK and DM Trends

        November 23, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • NobodylikesRussia

      There is no country being more unpopular in the world than putins russia. No country has a more worse influence on humanity than russia! Seriously, nobody likes this country, even not the russians left it long time ago and I know a lot russians! Only the unclever russians left behind love it, because they are trained to love it by the dictatorship regime!

      November 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
      • AlexD

        Is not it funny to read comments from people who have never lived in Ukraine or Russia? Ladies and Gents, you should not judge something you have no idea about.

        November 23, 2013 at 12:24 am |
      • Martinez

        Try israel

        November 23, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  14. One World

    Solution – Russia joins EEC. Problems solved. Who's afraid of this? German European Empire? French racists?

    November 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • JerseyJeff

      Well.... almost every country in the EU does not want Russia in the EEC, EU or NATO.

      This was an idea floated soon after the end of the Cold War by the US.... but was quickly cut short by a backlash of popular opinion.

      November 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  15. rightospeak

    They made the right decision not to be a EU colony, like so many other post Communist countries. To see begging young , healthy people who can not find a job in Lithuania can break one's heart – I did see it . The EU membership was not such a blessing.

    November 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  16. jyves95

    Looks like they don't want to join if they can't get free stuff...
    Indeed, they should go back and play with Russia.I heard that Putin won't let them starve like Stalin did.. officially..

    November 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  17. Pete

    Ukraine is a part of Russia, just like Texas is a part of the United States. Half its population is ethnically Russian and Russian is their home language. The other half (actually a bit less than a whole halve) is ethnically Ukrainian speaking Ukrainian (a brother language of Russian, but distinct from it) and preferring the West instead of Russia. This is a very though situation where only a split in halves could perhaps solve it, but that of course neither part would accept. Still the majority elected the current government and Obama liking it or not, the government represents the pro-Russian Ukrainians.

    November 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • STEVE

      HOW NAIVE AND RUSSIAN SOUNDING ARE YOU. UKRAINIANS ARE A PROUD PEOPLE UNDER FOOT TOO LONG BY THE LIKES OF CONQUERORS AS POLAND AND RUSSIA. TO SAY UKRAINE IS PART OF RUSSIA LIKE TEXAS IS USA IS IGNORANT AND UNEDUCATED. ETHNIC TIES ARE ONE THING. IDEOLOGY AND A WAY OF LIFE AND RESPECT FOR FREEDOM AND FAMILY ARE ANOTHER. BULLYING IS RUSSIA'S M.O. IT IS JUST WHAT THEY DO. I WOULD LOVE TO BRING YOU BEFORE MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN USA AND KIEV, ODESSA, AND HAVE YOU SAY THIS CRAP. WHAT AN ASS YOU ARE.

      November 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply
      • Takogo kak Putin

        Before 1991 when did u idiots ever have your own country? Only for 6 months when some of you collaborated with Nazis. Ukraine should take its rightful place in the Greater Russia

        November 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Julia

      For Ukrainians EU was always a prohibited fruit – so beautiful and close, but so hard to visit. historically during all the years of existence of USSR, Europe became a beautiful dream. in The 90-th Europe became an 'employer" for Ukrainians, who were trying all possible tools to get in Europe and stay there for work, mostly illegally. That explains why the majority of Ukrainians would like to join EU.Today My personal question is: what will happen with EU in 7 years? Why to go there?
      Of course this fact does not explain the " last minute" decision, which states the weakness of political position.

      November 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  18. Hakan

    Some European countries are interested to implant their supermarket chains in Ukraine the way they have been doing it in eastern Europe and the Balkans. So interest in dominating Ukranian local market will not end in here. The moment Ukraine changes today's decision, Europe will for sure welcome her once again with open arms!!!

    On the other hand, most of Ukranians youth dream of finding a job in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland etc without a visa and living in those democratic countries for the rest of their lives. Central Europe especially France, Italy and Switzerland can not continue with today's current flux of immigrants from Romania, Bulgaria, etc...especially when some travelling ppl are involved in light crime or illegal experiences. Those bad examples although not in huge mass in practice are so badly percieved by a large portion of societies that extreme right wing does not stop in escalating in some countries. To sum up, if one day Ukraine, Turkey or Moldovia joins the Union with no instant access to the Schengen area, some countries like France, Netherlands and Switzerland may be expected to leave this zone as Mrs. Le Pen announces from today!!!!

    November 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  19. robert

    The EU and its growing relationship with eastern europe serves two intended purposes. 1.Weaken Russia. 2. By weakening russia to the point of it transforming to a "Western" country for the purpose of weakening and enveloping China. Any invasion of China will require multiple fronts to divide their forces since they are so huge and a lot of land to cover. China is starting to resist by making connections in Africa and Mideast and South America, but they need to do more. China and Russia need to have the same kind of relationship that the US and Britain have. And instead of playing tough with its neighbours it needs to play sweet and proivde big benefits to the south east Asian countries for aligninng with them. They also need to make sure that India is prevented from increasing its relationship with the US and Israel. Do this by being nice, not tough. It will cost money but it is an essential investment for well being of China and the rest of the world.

    November 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      Interesting point, not entirely far fetched. Yes, The Great Game these days has become US X China instead of the older players, the British Empire and Russia.

      November 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  20. LambdaUA-Asia (corrected version)

    Greeting, guys! Ukrainian dude here. Personally, I think it was the right decision. Ukraine has much more potential than our neighbours. What the heck, Moldova is going to sign the association? What Roman, Bulgaria and other similar countries are doing in EU? EU becomes poorer and also British will take the right on the referendum.
    Ask Germans and French if they want to leave EU or, at least, Eurozone – of course, majority they will say 'yes'.
    I live in rich part of Asia and see how many western Europeans come here to work because of deteriorating economical situation in Eurozone.

    I may tell you one thing: we will build strong relationships with EU and align our law, we will build strong economical relationships with Russians, we will respect both of the worlds and we will win. See our country growing, it starts to happen today!

    November 22, 2013 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Dmitry

      I agree with Ukraine's decision.

      November 22, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • STEVE

      Yanukovych, he says, has no real desire to improve his country's economy. His aim, Aslund says, "appears to be to transfer financial resources and companies to what is known as the Yanukovych family, a group of young businessmen, who are quickly buying up both private and public companies at rock-bottom prices. They are the only permitted buyers in key industries."
      Yea, Lamby....You must be a close cousin to that crook and Putin Puppet Yanukovych. Wait till Yanukovych sells out Ukraine and gives away Crimea to Russia so he can have a nice fat castle on the coast to retire in. A pig is still a pig. Putin and Yanukovych are ruthless greedy self serving tyrants.

      November 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • tommy

        Why shouldn't Crimea return to Russia? Crimea isn't Ukrainian. It was given to Ukraine by Kruschev when they were all part of the same country. Sebastopol has been the base of the Russian Black Sea fleet since the days of Catherine the Great and almost all of the people who live there are Russian. The Crimean Tatars had only lived there a few generations before the Russians took over in the 1700s.

        November 24, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  21. LambdaUA-Asia

    Greetings, guys! Ukrainian dude here. Personally, I think it was the right decision. Ukraine has much more potential than our neighbours. What the heck, Moldova is going to sign association? What Romania, Bulgarian and other similar countries are doing in EU? EU becomes poor organization and also UK will take the right on the referendum.
    Ask Germans and French if they want to live EU or, at least, Eurozone – of course, majority they will say 'yes'.
    I live in rich part of Asia and see how many western European come here to work because of bad economical situation in Eurozone.

    I may tell you one thing: we will build strong relationships with EU and align our law, we will build strong economical relationships with Russians, we will respect both of the worlds and we will win. See our country growing, it starts to happen today!

    November 22, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
  22. puddintane

    Hm, isn't Ukraine home to many of the Caucasian people? I smell arrogant racism and fascism, plain and simple. "We don't need to do business or mix with non-blonds"

    November 22, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • LambdaUA-Asia (corrected version)

      Not many, but all of us are white.

      November 22, 2013 at 11:26 am | Reply
  23. Bob Kebic

    The problem is that Ukraine is really not prepared to join the EU; well perhaps in agriculture she could develop quickly and be a "bread basket of Europe" once again. By joining EU she would serve as " the bridge" between EU and oil rich neighbors to the east in order to make Russia less relevant. It's an "economic chess game" and it seems Putin won! What will Ukraine's rewards be for this more, who knows – maybe just a lot of empty promises she would receive from the other side as well!!!

    November 22, 2013 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • John McKane

      Joining the EU would only be disastrous for Ukraine and now it's good that the Ukrainians know about it. Look at what's going on in Greece, Italy and Spain! By the way, all this ignorant Putin bashing is starting to get old as he had almost nothing to do with Ukraine's decision.

      November 22, 2013 at 10:47 am | Reply
      • Bob Kebic

        I seriously doubt that!
        Maybe Putin not personally but there was a plenty of hand-wringing and/or cash under the table changing hands. Intimidation and corruption is a way of life in the old 'Eastern Block'!

        November 22, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • LambdaUA-Asia (corrected version)

      We are not going to join EU, we just wanted to sign the association treaty, but changed our mind for good.

      November 22, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply
  24. a

    aa

    November 22, 2013 at 10:18 am | Reply
  25. StanCalif

    "Yanukovych, he says, has no real desire to improve his country's economy. His aim, Aslund says, "appears to be to transfer financial resources and companies to what is known as the Yanukovych family, a group of young businessmen, who are quickly buying up both private and public companies at rock-bottom prices. They are the only permitted buyers in key industries."
    Yanukovych chose Putin's model! Steal and plunder your way to power and riches, why work honestly? Let's see how fast Chevron and Shell exit Ukraine knowing that any shale developments they create will eventually be stolen! To become a member of the EU, Ukraine needed to reform its justice system, protect individual human rights, allow freedom of speech . . . and worst of all, end political corruption!!! Yanukovych decided this was just too much to ask! Putin didn't have to do this, why should we?
    Yanukovych, and his clan, just ended Ukraine's independence! Sure, Putin's promises are enticing. You are giving away your country to the new "Union of Soviet Putin Puppets"! Putin is 1000 times smarter than you are, you will live to regret this day!
    What comes next, a 10 to 20 year civil war in Ukraine? You asked for it, I hope you're man enough to deal with this! Just call up Putin anytime for his advise!

    November 22, 2013 at 7:47 am | Reply
  26. Костянтин Ігор

    Ukraine was threatened once again by Russia that if it makes closer ties with the EU and the west in an agreement it will invade and annex about half of it, how else would Ukraine react when they know what happened in Georgia, another close friend of USA and EU which didn't get any support from the west when Russia invaded it too?

    November 22, 2013 at 5:59 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      When Russia invaded Georgia, George W. and Putin were sitting next to each other at the Chinese Olympics. Bush later declared that he "looked into Putin's eyes" and saw an honorable man! Stupid George, dupped again!
      Now Yanukovych takes this same position! Putin is great! I trust him!
      Putin is, in fact, much more intelligent and cunning than either of these two. Yanukovych just gave away Ukraine's independence. I hope he can live with this! Are you ready for your civil war? Coming soon!

      November 22, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
      • Rinat

        you are a victim of American propaganda. Russia did not invade Georgia. Georgia attacked South Ossetia, killing thousands of civilians, including the Russians. then Russia retaliated for the pacification of Georgia

        November 22, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • Ray

        Rinat, you really shouldn't be one to talk about falling victim to propaganda. Your comment comes straight out of the Putin playbook.

        November 22, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • Dmitry

        I was born in Kiev which it's capital, and I think that Ukrain protected it's independence by not signing the deal. The only reason you are mentioning Russia and Putin is because Putin said that this deal is not in the Best Interests of Ukrain.

        Unexing Ukraine and separating it into 2 countries is a reteric I have heard from separatists that are extremely anti-Russian. Splinting Ukraine into 2 countries or suppressing it's economy is not something that is in Russian interests. A strong Ukraine that is a close ally to Russia, sounds more interesting.

        November 22, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • onno

      Is there no objectivity let in the media and immediately accusing President Putin of interfering in the process of these 5 countries looking for a trade association with the European Union. In the meantime we have seen what happened to those former Soviet Republics that became member like Poland and Romania where unemployment increased because large international EU subsidies company like Smithfield Food put 90% of the hog farmers out of business, the same happened to Bulgaria's agriculture. The track record of the corrupt EU is not encouraging for the population either since only politicians and government can enrich themselves while the people will suffer even more hardships under EU association. This Vilnius agreement is a political power move first to the Union and secondly a move against Russia although these nations are culturally closer to Russia then to Western Europe. President Putin has become the new most powerful person in the world and rightly so and therefore we should respect the decision by the Ukraine which economically would lose more from such an association then gain since their exports will be crucified by the 50.000 corrupt EU bureaucrats and their regulations in high technology industry and healthy Ukrainian agriculture.
      The world should respect these decisions and not trying to find all kind accusations and defaming the free decision made by the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada)

      November 22, 2013 at 10:26 am | Reply
  27. Rodger

    Smart move from Ukraine. All negotiators and negotiations have probably been monitored by the NSA.
    The EU should do the same with all agreements it's currently working on with the US and start again from scratch with different negotiators and increased security.

    November 22, 2013 at 5:45 am | Reply
  28. Andrii

    Ukrainians already gathering to protest against this decision. Follow twitter trend #Євромайдан

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23%D1%94%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BD&src=tren

    November 22, 2013 at 4:43 am | Reply
  29. Illia

    We should stop him and them.

    November 22, 2013 at 4:40 am | Reply
  30. Power

    Dear Ukrainians! As being communist country for over 70 years, it is obviously shown that most of your people's mind is already brainwashed from the power of communism! Keep on like that and pray for better days in the future! You have lost an incredible opportunity and Europe will not forget that! I feel pity for the intelligent and prosperous people in your country and lets hope that in the future they will change the course of your nation in the positive direction! Yes, Europe always has profit from your country, but the question is "Do you contribute more with Russia now?", and the answer is ... "Totally not!". Please wake up and destroy the power of corruption and embraces your country at the moment! Good luck!

    November 22, 2013 at 4:00 am | Reply
    • LambdaUA-Asia (corrected version)

      Sounds like you have kinda the time machine or stuff like that you play with in your storage room. Just break that old button 1970, we are not communists anymore.

      November 22, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • LambdaUA-Asia

      Sorry, misread your words, taking them back.

      November 22, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Tifu

      what can we as Ukrainians do? -we are under the control of a convicted 3-time Rapist--AND a thief-I have family in central Ukraine, and they were threatened with electrical, water and gas rates to go up X3 if we sided with the EU... and regular folks cannot survive this way-what can we as Americans do to help? to stop being the puppet of Putin

      November 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  31. myheart2ukraine

    EU you have had your day now go away and return 2 getting your orders from Obama in Washington.
    As an Englishman living in Ukraine now for over 10 years i have seen the propaganda that has been thrown at Kyiv by the EU these last few years and it has all been garbage. Not trust me then ask them poor buggers in Spain / Greece / Portugal and other EU countries deep in depression with no hope for the future for its citizens and this devious EU want this for my Ukraine.
    As for your normal Ukrainian citizen there is no hope for free visa travel in the EU for at-least another 25 years for them so what is the point of Ukraine signing this "AA" EU American insane trash.
    Ukraine now goes forward and not backwards like the EU and will never ever let a Ukrainians mums son die for NATO"s endless devious wars so go suck yourself EU as you Americans say pravda.
    myheart2ukraine

    November 22, 2013 at 2:30 am | Reply
    • MAX

      Nonsense. Previous Greek officials had lied about budgets. The nations wanted 1 currency but didn't want to give the EU any actual powers to oversee their budgets or banks or power to correct. Thanks to the crises the truth as come out in Greece and Spanish Banks as well. Finally the EU is getting the actual powers to oversee and correct. This is a great advancement not a step backwards. Crises result in change and improvements. Certainly with a brand new currency. A currency that by the way during it`s first ever crises came into the worlds worst global financial crises in a centuries time. A crises that started in the United States by the way. Were debts have increased from 9 Trillion in 2009 to over 17 Trillion now in 2013. Not even talking about insanely large FED stimulus programs.

      Yet the Euro despite the crises has stayed strong vs all other currencies. Showing it`s not about the currency. But about previous mismanagement in certain states. A weak spot that is now being corrected. Even beyond that with a 500 Billion EU stability mechanism. Doubling of the EU research budget starting next year. EU United Patent system coming soon that will allow 1 patent for the entire EU. Lowering costs from 43.000 Euro to as low as 800 Euro by registering only 1 time instead of in each 28 EU countries. Allowing EU companies/start-ups and new products to grow much faster in the future. United Air Traffic Control allowing faster, direct routes, a United Banking Union that will provide insanely more certainty and stability for global financial inverters investing in specific Eurozone countries.

      And that is just the tip of the iceberg of incredible reforms and integration efforts to advance the EU.

      November 22, 2013 at 4:24 am | Reply
      • Jay Orp

        Who are you, some ambassador from the EU? LOL What rubbish. Continue to lose touch with reality, pal.

        November 22, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  32. MAX

    Countries like Poland, Lithuania and many others have shown that joining the EU is incredible good for your nation. Ukraine would greatly profit even with an association agreement and start to reduce corruption over the long run. Those complaining about the Euro currency have no idea what their talking about. The Euro was a new currency and they had to learn the hard way how to balance it properly like with any new currency. This has only strengthened European integration further. The more Europe is integrating the stronger it is clearly becoming.

    It happened with AIRBUS that has now the same level of orders and production as Boeing even though being founded 6 decades after Boeing. CERN as well has stripped the leadership of the US in particle physics and given it fully back to Europe like in the days of Albert Einstein. Eurocopter has now become the worlds largest helicopter manufacturer. Volkswagen is well on it`s way to become the worlds largest car company. ESO has become the worlds most productive ground based astronomical agency. ESA is quickly catching up with the status of NASA with all it`s epic missions many of which succeed NASA's own capabilities and achievements. We have the upcoming EU Single Patent that will start lowering EU patent costs from 43.000 Euro to only as low as 800 Euro by registering only 1 time instead of each EU state. Allowing new EU companies and new EU products to grow much faster and cheaper on a global scale. to A common Banking Union set up is underway. United European Air Traffic Control, Doubling of the EU research budget to 70 Billion Euro, ETC, ETC.

    Europe is becoming stronger and it would be wise if even Russia and Turkey joined.

    November 22, 2013 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • Vlad

      Are you sure that Lithuania has benefited from the EU? industries are not developed after joining the EU and have been closed. During the Soviet "occupation" of the Baltic States there was a demographic boom, high employment and developing industry. Every fith working able person left Lithuania,being a EU member. EU authorities have destroyed agriculture in the Baltic countries, filling the markets with cheap and low quality products.

      November 22, 2013 at 4:46 am | Reply
    • Dmitriy the Great

      You forgot to mention just one detail, when Poland and Lithuania were being accepted to EU their citizens were allowed to enter EU without visas, so that after job cuts, inevitble thing while modernizing economy, they had a chance to survive working in Europe. As to Ukraine – you never offered their citizens free entrance to EU, simply because there are a lot more ukrainians in number than poles and lithuanians. Thats why it was very difficult decision for Yanukovich and it is good for ukrainians that he refused.

      November 22, 2013 at 5:14 am | Reply
    • EU citizen

      Don't think you get much applause from users who are named "Dimitry" or similar, Ukraine would benefit the most of the deal because it would make it even more independent from Russia which shadows over it with various threats. Heck the greatest opposers of the EU ties are the Moscow-oriented semi-russian Ukraine citizens.

      November 22, 2013 at 7:20 am | Reply
  33. Dwight Schrute

    Maria honey in English the word 'concrete' usually refers to the construction material, not "a bunch of reforms". Anyway, signing a piece of paper by itself was never going to integrate Ukraine into anything nor was it going to deliver any much needed reforms. You must be very young or just plain naive to believe that any countries out there are motivated by anything other than their own self interest. It is true of the EU and the same is true of Russia and the same goes for the US. The EU was pursuing this agreement because it was extremely beneficial to EU both geopolitically and economically, not because it was desperate to make Ukraine a better place. In fact the economic benefits would have largely been realized at the expense of Ukrainian taxpayers. And dont kid yourself about the polls, none of them ever showed pro-EU majority (unless of course you trust Channel 5 which only polls western Ukraine). So you see, as someone who is Ukrainian and was born and raised there, i do have a god damn idea of what i am commenting about :)

    November 22, 2013 at 1:39 am | Reply
    • maria

      who said the most important thing is signing a piece of paper? as someone who was born and raised in ukraine you might know exactly what these reforms imply – the reform of the prosecutor's and then the whole long list of things much needed in the country. now, no kidding this will be done on ukraine's taxpayers money. who do think pays for the reforms in the country, freaking santa?
      what i am saying is the country needs to be moving in the direction of democratic values, and we are not getting these by kissing putin's ass.
      thats about it, honey.

      November 22, 2013 at 3:11 am | Reply
    • PreachJohn

      Maria's use of 'concrete' in her particular context is absolutely correct denotatively and connotatively. You have no warrant to comment on her English.

      November 22, 2013 at 3:14 am | Reply
    • maria

      Oh, one one thing before i go, sweetie, 5th channel polls, heh? and how about Razumkov's polls? The IFAK's polls? Seriously, man, get your facts right before opening you mouth again. That should help.

      November 22, 2013 at 3:15 am | Reply
  34. Minister of Affairs

    I quote Borat on this, "Very Nice!"

    November 22, 2013 at 1:24 am | Reply
  35. Bill Simpson

    Russia had oil and gas and the EU doesn't. What is so hard to understand about that?

    November 22, 2013 at 1:22 am | Reply
    • Bill Simpson

      Oh, and Putin, like the Chinese, can pay huge bribes. That is illegal in the EU.

      November 22, 2013 at 1:24 am | Reply
    • User

      Russian oil bubble is bursting. And we have shale gas.

      November 22, 2013 at 1:28 am | Reply
    • MAX

      Europe is becoming ever more energy independent. Especially as the technologies mature and even more renewable options come available every year. Even for storage of energy. And even now the rise of electric vehicles.

      The oil prices have leveled off the past years. Harming Russian energy income. And with ever more renewable energy options Europe will reduce it's reliance further every few years. Eventually having zero or almost zero reliance on Russia or Saudi-Arabia. On top of that Europe already has very significant amounts of oil, gas, hydro power, etc available so it`s certainly not fully depending on others for fossil energy. On the contrary.

      November 22, 2013 at 1:52 am | Reply
  36. S-450

    What a SURPRISE!
    Ukraine do not wish to become New Greece or New Bulgaria ......

    November 22, 2013 at 1:09 am | Reply
  37. sjdsh

    Excellent news! Dignity and self-determination. The EU has again failed in blackmailing a sovereign nation. The dismal fate of EU member states getting looted for the benefit of the intnt bankers helped you to think clearly.
    The Eurasian union with Belarus and Russia will help you recover.
    -Expressing Moscow’s praise over Kiev's position, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman President Vladimir Putin,
    - Russia offers congratulations and "welcomes a desire to improve and develop" cooperation with Ukraine.

    November 22, 2013 at 1:01 am | Reply
    • maria

      thats right, keep kissing putin's ass, you are getting really good at it!

      November 22, 2013 at 3:05 am | Reply
      • Jay Orp

        So long as YOU give Washington some head, "honey."

        November 22, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  38. PreachJohn

    I can see that Putin's Puppets, the Shills, are dutifully earning their keep posturing as ordinary World Citizens, populating this fine Forum.

    November 22, 2013 at 12:46 am | Reply
    • Boombox

      Oh yes, God forbid someone doesn't think like you do. The shills! They should be banned shouldn't they? So all you ever hear are nice words, and if you hear only nice words, that means everything is right with the world, right? Grow up.

      November 22, 2013 at 2:44 am | Reply
    • Boombox

      Just read some more of your comments. Jokes aside, you have issues. Seek help.

      November 22, 2013 at 2:46 am | Reply
      • PreachJohn

        @Hollowsounding Boombox-Obviously, plainly, brazenly you're in possession of no facts whatsoever concerning me or the issues discussed to offer.
        So all you can do is kneejerk cough up weak personal, however misconstrued, attacks. Nice try. Thank you for playing.
        Perhaps it's you who need help, more than you are presently cognizant.

        November 22, 2013 at 3:24 am |
  39. User

    We need EU. We don't need Putin.

    November 22, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply
    • Dmitriy the Great

      There is no purely black, there is no purely white. Do you always have only 2 choices to make?

      November 22, 2013 at 5:18 am | Reply
      • PreachJohn

        Not always, you are correct. But, obviously in this case it is down to two starkly, distinctly different choices.
        One whiter and lighter overall than the other which is distinctly dark.
        i think it is obvious also where my sentiments lie. It is clearly not with the oligarch weasel Putin, or his Ukrainian counterpart et al.

        November 22, 2013 at 8:06 am |
      • Dmitriy the Great

        Wrong indeed. Your whiter and lighter choice means ordinary ukrainians will have to look for a job abroad since EU industry high quality standards will drive many ukrainian companies out of business. High quality is good, but people need to work somewhere and EU isn't giving them a visa-free entrance to Europe. Which means ukrainians will have to look for a job in Russia. So you want to improve ukrainian economy ( which is a good thing ) at the expense of russian economy. Putin is doing great to protect Russia, because creating visas for ukrainians would severely damage their well-being. Prior to dragging Ukraine into EU give ukrainians visa-free entrance to EU and you will have my support on this.

        November 22, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • LambdaUA-Asia (corrected version)

      We need neither Putin nor EU, we need ourselves.

      November 22, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
  40. Ash Fan

    the TRAP that is Europe has probably had MUCH more effect than any Russia "weight"... the ABYSMAL social economic and political situation of Europe is so severe that some countries like France, Holland, Greece, Italy are effectively being sweet by extreme right wing populist parties AS THE REGULAR PARTIES ARE SEEN AS THIEVES AND CORRUPT CRIMINAL ASSOCIATIONS ( which as far as Italy is concerned is TRUE)
    To expect Ukranians NOT to see these issues is foolish....
    Top this with classical Germanic "iron fisted" foreign policy with just about any other nation smaller than themselves and presto, there you have the reason Ukraine is doing "JUST SAY NO"....

    November 22, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
    • Tyler

      No offense..but if anything, it's Ukraine that's poor, corrupt and economically weak.

      November 22, 2013 at 6:15 am | Reply
  41. maria

    And Aslund, yes, he practically lives in Ukraine. So he knows what he is talking about unlike some people who commet.

    November 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  42. maria

    the government came to its senses? are you insane?
    the government here never had ANY senses to speak of.
    and yes the majority of people in ukraine do support eu intergation (check the polls) because the intergation is a bunch of concrete and much-much needed reforms.
    i hate it when people who have no god damn idea about the country comment!

    November 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • cheeseroll

      Less than 50% of Ukrainians support EU membership and you call it a majority?

      You are traitor to your own country for spreading slanderous propaganda for US and NATO criminals. How much do they pay you to spread falsehoods? All who support this pro-west nonsense should be executed as traitors. "Integrate" with US and EU for what? So that US corporations can loot and rape Ukraine? Yes, you people who support this sell-out to NATO under the guise of "integration" should be executed.

      Traitorous dogs.

      November 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Reply
      • PreachJohn

        Yes, cheesecake. Your are the ' Traitorous Dog'. Putin's Lapdog earning his keep.
        That's why dear Folk worldwide risk their literal lives to get to America and its Allies. Many perishing in this process.
        How many seek refugee status, at their personal great monetary cost and life's peril, to enter the discombobulated Former Federation of Soviet Slave States?
        This fact speaks louder than all your propaganda efforts combined, from you and your fellow Shills

        November 22, 2013 at 1:15 am |
      • maria

        nice job kissing Putin's ass my friend!

        November 22, 2013 at 3:04 am |
  43. George patton

    Kudos to the Ukrainians! It appears that they saw the trap the EU was setting for them. As a matter of fact, other countries like Greece and Italy would be wise to bolt the EU but won't! At least, I'm happy with that decision.

    November 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • LambdaUA-Asia

      Right, many Ukrainians have the same opinion.

      November 22, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
  44. Dwight Schrute

    blocking Ukraine's European integration, "which a large majority of the Ukrainian people supports"... what a bunch of horse$$$h1t! I wonder if Washington-based Asslund has ever even been to Ukraine to stake such a claim. I bet he hasnt. That agreement would ve raped the country's economy. TG the govt there came back to its senses

    November 21, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
    • JerseyJeff

      2 of Ukraine's largest poll agencies found similar results.

      To put it simply, about 1/2 of Ukrainians support closer ties to the EU while about 10% want closer ties to Russia. That's including Ukrainians of Russian ethnicity.

      There are already protests and demonstrations taking place in Kiev against the government over this.

      November 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply

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