Vilnius or Bust? 2013/11/8 12:58:08

Earlier today we posted a brief but we thought very important bit of commentary by London economist Tim Ash detailing a very stark synopsis of his views regarding Ukraine’s failure to close the deal on the EU Association Agreement. Below we provide a more broad ranging analysis provided by Ash based on his recent visit to Ukraine.


Ash: “Does Yanukovych want to go down in Ukrainian history books as the man who sold Ukraine's hard won independence for 30 pieces of silver from Russia? - I do not think so, and especially with the public mood turning in favour of the EU.”


City of London analyst Tim Ash is a man who believes in getting out into the field to give greater depth and immediacy to his economic and political forecasting. Tim provided the following less than 24 hours ago near the end of a foray into Ukraine: “Whatever EU officials might say about the process, I think it is very likely that this goes right to the wire, i.e. the EU summit itself on November 28-29 in Vilnius. It could well be a repeat of the 2004 summit where Turkish EU accession stole the show, with an 11th hour deal.” For complete text of his latest filing, see below.



“…the real message of Russia’s Day of National Unity is this: Russia remains a deeply divided country, and instead of trying to overcome those divides, the Kremlin and the Patriarchate are deepening these splits, a strategy that promises no good whether Russia and the former Soviet space disintegrate as seems likely or not.”

Even if there was no other reason to choose the EU Association Agreement over Russia’s pressure to join the Customs Union, one should consider Patriarch Kirill’s campaign to promote “the need to build a corporate Orthodox state on the basis of the concept of ‘Russian civilization,’” which has made clear the Moscow Patriarchate’s antipathy toward democracy and its choice of anti-democratic one-man rule. In effect, Vladimir Putin’s desire to return to something resembling the Soviet Union and Patriarch Kirill’s desire to return to an autocracy obedient to the Russian Orthodox Church are different sides of the same coin. Paul Goble’s commentary below provides other details.

Coming up with straight answers is never easy on the issue of Ukraine’s real interest in signing an EU Association Agreement and its willingness to pay the price of releasing former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko


Vladimir Putin’s point man in charge to reminding Ukrainians repeatedly of the horrors that would follow signing of the EU Association Agreement has done his job with resolve and gusto. However, evidence now suggests that Glazyev has overegged the custard and has become a factor driving Ukraine toward Europe. [Glazyev on left in this photo]

Referring to the Beilis blood libel case of 1913, Moscow commentator Anton Nosik points out that “unfortunately a century later, neither in the MVD, nor in the courts, nor in the Procuracy General, not in the Investigation Committee, not to speak about the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church are to be found people” who are willing to stand up to the Kremlin and object to whatever horrors it proposes.


“…any effort to ignore these differences and to force integration where national populations are opposed to it will be counterproductive, according to a Moscow analyst, who suggests that the Russian Federation is going to have to come to terms with the final disintegration of the former Soviet space.”


Dr. Ariel Cohen, a noted scholar and intellectual who specializes in Ukrainian politics and history, has authored a paper for the conservative U.S. think tank, The Heritage Foundation, in which he provides a well-reasoned and documented explanation of U.S. support for Ukraine’s EU agreement bid. He also explains the role of Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin’s chosen gauleiter for Ukraine and Putin-backed candidate in the upcoming Ukrainian presidential election. UBO presents below an extract of the report provided by the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council with a link to the full report.


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