Dr. Olumide K.
I.          Introduction
Eastern Partnership signifies the western industrialized Europe’s use of
economic empowerment as a tool to infiltrate the splinter ex-communist states
of the east. Presently, the European Union (“EU”) is targeting Ukraine,
Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia.
 Sandwiched between Poland and Russia, Ukraine
is the second largest member of the old Union of soviet Socialist Republic

With the collapse of the old USSR, Ukraine has been pulled –ideologically both
ways –, i.e., towards the capitalist west and the highly conservative Russia.
November 21st, 2013, Victor Yanukovich, the present Ukrainian
president suspended Ukraine’s assent to the European Union (“EU”) Agreement.
thesis identifies the three (3) major factors that will determine whether or
not Ukraine would join the EU: (a) Ukraine’s readiness to adopt democratic
measures within its political process; (b) Ukraine’s readiness to adopt much
more competitive economic and political policies (“Rule of Law”); and (c) Ukraine’s
adoption of an open market/economy.
II.        The Dilemma.
soft competition between the richest western nation—Germany and Russia should
not be underrated. With the image of the big brother—Russia, looming larger than
before, there is a very steep uphill task before Kiev-based government and the
EU, as well
EU relaxes its rules and admits Ukraine, EU will be legitimizing half-hearted
reforms by an authoritarian government—which is both unpopular and uncooperative
at home. An antithesis of the principles that the EU stands for.
doubt, the full admission of the present-day Ukraine may infuriate an upheaval that
may arise from selective rules of admission and the selective application of
the Free Trade Rules
on the other hand, a non-admission of Ukraine, will definitely rob the Western
Europe of its leverage to influence Ukraine into making more reforms and may
allow Russia to take over.
III.       Admission into the EU
October 21, 2013, in Luxembourg, at the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers, it
was clear that the EU was placed in the middle of the devil of the Devil and
Deep Blue Sea concerning Ukraine. One option was to relax the rules governing
admission into the EU. Strict adherence for democratic principles, rule of law
and open market would freeze out Ukraine. On the other hand, Russia with nits
Eurasian Customs Union was waiting with open hands. To deny Ukraine admission
outright would reduce the impetus for reforms that had already began and also drive
Ukraine into further authoritarianism and overt dependence on Russia.
are the issues for consideration
a.         Requirement for Democratic measures
to recent ascendance of Yanukovich, Ukraine’s former prime minister was Yulia
Tymoshenko. In 2004, the Orange revolution forced Yanukovich out of office and
enthroned Tymoshenko. Curiously, in 2010, Yanukovich was re-elected and soon
after, Tymoshenko was jailed for abuse of power and for negotiating natural gas
with Russia while in power.
remained jailed despite plea for pardon and for temporary release under
supervision for medical treatment in Germany. Cases against Tymoshenko are
frozen. She is also barred from participating in electoral process towards the
2015 elections.
towards being accepted by the west, Yanukovich has released some high profile
political detainees who were being punished via selective justice. In addition,
travel bans have been lifted against these detainees and opponents as well.
minute improvements n the social justice system are what the EU wants to be
developed upon rather than stultified by Ukraine’s leaning towards Russia
Ukraine can sustain its electoral reforms and conducts a free and fair election
in 2015, even if Yanukovich loses out of office, its admission into the EU
would be smooth
b.         Rule of Law
on, in December 2012, the EU had accepted Ukraine conditionally upon making
necessary reforms in three (3) areas (a) Justice; (b) the electoral system; and
(c) institution reform—i.e., a demand that Ukraine separate politics, business
and organized crime from each other.
the western parlance, the Rule of Law entails the equality of all persons
before the law and processes. In Ukraine, demand is being made towards that the
tax service, the interior ministry and the prosecutor’s office be sanitized. Both
the criminal code and the criminal procedure rules should be reformed. The appointment
and ratification of officials into government positions must be democratized.
trial and prosecution of citizens and opponents must be transparent. Justice must
not only be done but must be seen to be done.
c.         Open Market.
is bases on laissez faire –open market, competition and lack of monopoly
and/or manipulation.
must sign the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that will create a
Free Trade Area. Ukraine must curb abuses of predatory and deprofessionalized
state that discourages entrepreneurship which in turn turns away commercially oriented
IV.       Tempting Eurasian Customs Union
the lure of the western world towards Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Kremlin have
coerced Armenia to jettison the EU. Putin’s Eurasian Union is a neutralizing
factor against the EU. Formed as political bloc, the Eurasian Union aims to
provide an umbrella force for all former USSR splinter states, without
requiring major economic or political reforms as the EU does.
contrast to EU’s demand that Ukraine lower its tariffs, Putin’s Eurasian Union
has countered with protective measures which may include subtle economic and
political coercive measures. For instance, against Armenia, Russia threatened
to withdraw security guarantees, and, against Moldova, Russia increased the
cost of energy supply and blocked the workers influx into Russia.
V.        Conclusion
its attenuated political position at home, with opponents gaining grounds
against Yanukovich and with Russia breathing trade blockages and/or sanctions
against Ukraine, Ukraine would probably maintain a middle ground by refusing to
bow either to the west or east.
the EU is more determined to get Ukraine to institute free trade and political
reforms. We must heed German Chancellor Angela Merkel:
Eastern European
countries must decide themselves on their future direction…Third parties cannot
have the right to veto.
The EU must
counter Russian pressure on Eastern Europe, be it in the form of additional
sales opportunities for products from our partner countries, which for instance
may not be exported to Russia, or in the form of assistance to diversify their
energy supply.
the time has come for the EU to be as proactive as it was during the 2004
orange revolution by engaging the Ukranian government and the opposition in
dialogues towards resolving the impasse.
EU must also provide political, financial, and institutional support as it had
given to new democracies in the past—e.g., the Marshall Plan.
EU must mobilize, directly and indirectly—through the IMF, the resources for
Ukraine to weather the imminent financial collapse.
the EU must shield Ukraine from likely Russian retaliation, coming through
economic sanctions, trade blockages and political intervention.
Dr. Olumide K.
Obayemi is of the Bars of the State of California and Nigeria.