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Author Topic: Ukraine rejects EU  (Read 6914 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Ukraine rejects EU
« on: November 21, 2013, 11:15:22 PM »
From the Mendeleyev Journal:

Ponder these quotes on Thursday from Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich "I would like to emphasize that Ukraine has no alternative to reforms and European integration" and moments later he added "We are moving this way and do not change our route."


Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich arrived in Austria Thursday. height=369
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich arrived in Austria on Thursday. His hosts had no idea that he was about to embarrass the EU.

However after Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov had returned from a meeting of CIS prime ministers in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday, he sounded more like a Prime Minister thinking of suspending efforts for EU integration and choosing to develop closer ties with Russia and other CIS countries.

Azarov's travel to the CIS summit came after a secret meeting between Yanukovich and Vladimir Putin last week. President Yanukovich arrived in Austria on Thursday for a two-day state visit.

On his return from Russia, Prime Minister Azarov described the CIS meetings in glowing terms: "The agenda of the meeting was extremely intense. And it was one of the most successful meetings of Heads of Government. By the results of the meeting it was signed about thirty documents. They cover a range of cooperation: in electricity, health care, tourism sector, training of the teaching staff, information security, creating a single transport area in the CIS and others."

Mr. Azarov explained that "...the main purpose of debates was the review of the execution of the Agreement on free trade between the CIS countries. This item was included into the agenda against our initiative - the initiative of Ukraine, which was supported by all Heads of Government of the CIS."

Ukraine hosted IMF delegates to talk about Ukraine's debt. height=361
Ukraine's Prime Minister Azarov, seated near the window, hosted IMF delegates to talk about Ukraine's debt.

Then came the abrupt announcement that Ukraine would turn towards Moscow, ensuring a major victory for Russia who has wooed Ukraine to join the Customs Union of several former Soviet Republics. The change comes only one week before an EU summit where the parties have been scheduled to sign an association agreement during the Vilnius Summit in Lithuania.

Meanwhile several Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) committees had been busy at work to bring various aspects of Ukrainian law into compliance with EU standards and just this past Tuesday the Chairman of the Parliament, Volodimir Rybak, hosted the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in Kyiv. But key sticking points, including the EU's demand for the release of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko may have pushed the Ukrainians back towards Moscow.

The progress of Ukraine’s fulfillment of commitments to the EU was discussed during the EU meetings in Kyiv and just this past Tuesday Chairman Rybak had stressed that Ukraine had no alternative and said that the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement would be signed next week.


EU Commission meetings in Ukraine. height=302
EU Commission meetings in Ukraine.

However the Ukrainian government Thursday evening indicated that Ukraine would turn her back on the EU framework at the last-minute, choosing instead to join the Customs Union and developing trade agreements within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

For some time Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged Ukraine to return to her historically close ties to Moscow and one aim of the CIS trade talks in Saint Petersburg was to show Kyiv that Moscow was willing to increase economic trade and extend gas deals with Kyiv if the Ukrainian government would suspend negotiations with the EU.
The Mendeleyev Journal. http://russianreport.wordpress.com; Member: Congress of Russian Journalists; ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.RU (Journalist-Russia); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.UA (Journalist-Ukraine); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.KZ (Journalist-Kazakhstan); ПОРТАЛ ЖУРНАЛИСТОВ (Portal of RU-UA Journalists); Просто Журналисты ("Just Journalists").

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 03:01:57 AM »
While the entrance to the EU would cost them money instead of leeching, I doubt Ukraine will be happy to enter. However I still see Ukraine enter the EU in 10 to 15 years when the current 'new' countries no longer provide cheap labour.
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Offline steveboy

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 06:56:01 AM »
A sigh of relief for many searching for a Ukrainian bride I guess. If the day ever does come when Ukraine joins the EU the "Ukrainian brides" thing will vanish over night, just like it has for Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
So plenty of time to visit those villages still 8)
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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 06:56:01 AM »

Offline Hammer2722

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 08:24:15 AM »
As long as Ukraine is run by mafia thugs and Oligarchs, they will never be a part of EU. They have got it so easy now stealing all they want with no consequences.
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Offline TS

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 06:56:35 PM »
What advantage would Ukraine have working with the EU?  EU does not want to give them membership. 
Ukraine is better off working with Russia, Turkey, middle east, and Asia. 

Offline JayH

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 07:05:00 PM »
What advantage would Ukraine have working with the EU?  EU does not want to give them membership. 
Ukraine is better off working with Russia, Turkey, middle east, and Asia.

EU membership  does not exclude other trade options-- what it does offer  is huge markets in close geographic approximity. There is so much under utilised farmland in Ukraine that can help revive/save Ukraine economy and create jobs.
GLORY TO UKRAINE !!!

Offline Boethius

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 11:07:54 AM »
Current reports from Russian news agencies is that protesters in Kyiv tried to storm the Rada, and shots have been heard.

Offline Boethius

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 11:24:14 AM »
Phone lines to Kyiv are currently down, with a message stating so, in both Ukrainian and English.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 03:20:34 PM »



The BBC says that over 100,000 were on the streets of Kyiv.



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Offline JayH

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GLORY TO UKRAINE !!!

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2013, 06:49:09 PM »
a blow to freedom loving people everywhere

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 12:52:30 PM »
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych calls for calm 

Hiding behind some drapes, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has called for calm among protesters angry over his government's decision to abandon a historic deal with the EU.

Mr Yanukovych defended the move, saying it was forced by economic necessity because it is becoming increasingly difficult for him to pay his debts. Riding on a helicopter is not cheap", said the President.
 
The EU's top two officials have sharply criticised Russia for exerting heavy economic pressure on Ukraine.
 
Clashes between protesters and police continued on Monday. Meanwhile, jailed opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, sensing she has a chance to get out of jail has announced a hunger strike.
 
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Monday the door was still open for Ukraine to sign an association agreement - on free trade and reforms - at a summit in Vilnius later this week, pissing further Tsar Putin.
 
"The Eastern Partnership is conceived as a win-win where we all stand to gain," they said.
"It is up to Ukraine to freely <chuckle> decide what kind of engagement they seek with the European Union.
 
"We therefore strongly disapprove of the Russian position and actions."
 
'European path'
 
Mr Yanukovych was speaking publicly behind the drapes, mind you for the first time since the announcement last week that his government was halting preparations to sign the association agreement.
 
The decision triggered mass protests in Kiev on Sunday.
 
"I had no idea this shit would explode like this. I want peace and calm in our big Ukrainian family so I can steal some more," Mr Yanukovych said in a video statement.
 
He said his government had not given up attempts to bring closer ties between Ukraine and the EU. They are still trying to hack the European Bank computers.
 
"Today I would like to underline this: there is no alternative to the creation of a society of European standards in Ukraine and my policies on this path always have been, and will continue to be, consistent with that of a thug," he said.
 
Opponents have accused him of keeping talks with the EU alive while laughing at the naive do-nothing popullation never intending to sign a deal.
 
As many as 100,000 people massed in Kiev's European Square on Sunday calling for a "European future without Yanukovych", in scenes reminiscent of the Orange Revolution in 2004, when Mr Yanukovych was eventually ousted after an election widely believed to have been faked. The government immediately called for national holidays and told the protesters to go celebrate.
 
Riot police used tear gas against protesters on Sunday and again on Monday, saying they had been pelted with objects. "No more bad kielbasa" said a policeman on condition of annonimity.
 
Protesters set up tents, implying they were planning to stay for the long haul, or at least until the New Years festivities.
 
Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution and world-class swindler who was jailed in 2011 for abuse of power, said she was starting a hunger strike in solidarity with the protesters.
She launched a similar fast last year in protest at her treatment, but stopped it after 20 days because she reached her desired weight. "Prison food is so very bad for my thighs," said the former Prime Minister.
 
The EU has made her release from prison one of its conditions for signing the association agreement. Interpol is waiting anxiously.
 
For the real version, go here.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 12:54:28 PM by Muzh »
"Mr Putin is discovering that global finance is more frightened of the US Securities and Exchange Commission than Russian T90 tanks."

Offline Boethius

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 01:00:15 PM »
Internal political matters should not be a condition of signing what are intended to be trade agreements. 

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 01:00:15 PM »

Online Muzh

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2013, 01:16:51 PM »
Internal political matters should not be a condition of signing what are intended to be trade agreements.

Oh please, say that again.  ;)
"Mr Putin is discovering that global finance is more frightened of the US Securities and Exchange Commission than Russian T90 tanks."

Offline Boethius

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2013, 03:11:44 PM »
You can watch the protests live here.  Interesting if you understand Ukrainian. 


http://www.radiosvoboda.org/media/videotube/42.html

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 03:52:44 PM »
Here is another analysis -

When Oleh Rybachuk, a senior Ukrainian envoy, came to Brussels in early 2005, he wanted one thing: a public statement that Ukraine can one day join the EU.

It was just a few months after the Orange Revolution.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians had risked their lives by going on the streets to overthrow a bogus, Soviet-type leader (Viktor Yanukovych) and the new authorities believed an EU accession promise would
keep the movement going.

Instead, Rybachuk shuffled from meeting to meeting with MEPs, officials in the European Commission and the EU Council, and with diplomats in EU countries' embassies.

They talked to him about the complexity of EU decision-making and about "benchmarks" and "criteria" for financial assistance.

He left the EU capital angry and confused.

"Who the hell do I have to see around here to get Ukraine into the EU?" he told a Polish diplomat before flying home.

What happened next is well known.

For their part, Orange Revolution leaders turned on each other in political vendettas and corruption scandals.  I
t got so bad that in 2010 Yanukovych was voted into power. On paper, he passed pro-EU law after law. But in reality, he took Ukraine backward. He jailed opposition leaders, rigged parliamentary elections, seized control of media and made his own family rich.

On the EU side, the accession promise never came.

Instead, the EU drafted a several-thousand-page-long "association agreement" and "deep and comprehensive free trade agreement," full of technical demands.

It even refused to call Ukraine a "European state" because it sounded too much like the EU Treaty on the right of "European states" to apply for membership.

EU countries also kept Ukrainian people at arm's length.

Ukraine dropped visa requirements for EU citizens, but EU consulates became notorious for red tape and refusals.

In an incident in 2007, one EU country even made a Ukrainian children's choir sing in the snow outside its building in Kiev before issuing (expensive) EU travel permits.

Meanwhile, in the background, Russia was making moves.  In 2008, it showed former Soviet states it is ready to use hard power - tanks and bombs - to keep them in line by invading Georgia.

In 2009, it used hard power - mid-winter gas cut-offs - to increase its control over the Ukrainian economy by forcing it to pay super-high gas prices.  In 2010, it used gas threats to get its navy to stay in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

This year, a few weeks before Ukraine was to sign the EU agreement at a summit in Vilnius, it called in a $1 billion gas debt and threatened a trade ban if it put pen to paper.


The story ended on 21 November when Ukraine said No to the EU pact, citing Russian pressure.


For sure, the Ukrainian elite shares blame for the fiasco.  Ukraine's one-time foreign minister, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, says its former PM, Yulia Tymoshenko, committed "treason" by agreeing the high gas price, in part, for personal gain.


EU diplomats say Yanukovych never intended to sign the EU pact because the status quo, with Ukraine in limbo between the EU and Russia, makes it easier for him to retain power and enrich his clan.

Ukrainian people are equally responsible for their own fate.


Tens of thousands of them protested against Yanukovych in Kiev on Sunday (24 November), prompting clashes with riot police, in the biggest opposition rally since the Orange Revolution.


It remains to be seen if the tents will stay in place.

But while many people in western Ukraine have lapsed into political fatigue, equally many in the country's Russophone east never shared the EU romance in the first place.

"In order to understand Ukrainian politics, you have to remember that Ukrainians gave the English language two words: masochism and anarchy," Andrey Kurkov, a Ukrainian novelist, told MEPs at a recent hearing.

The treaty fiasco also shows that EU soft power cannot compete with Russian hard power.

For cosmopolitan Ukrainians, the EU, an enclave of liberal democracy and open markets, is a more attractive model than Russia. 

But when tanks roll in or when the gas goes off, EU officials look far away and tiny.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is fond of summoning local leaders for what Ukrainian diplomats call "man-to-man" chats.


But if he does, EU officials cannot make a counter-offer. They cannot say: "Relax: we can wire $1 billion more than the Russians to your offshore account. Relax: we will impose sanctions on Russia unless it puts the gas back on. Relax: if worst comes to worst, our military will stop Russian troops from 'saving' Russian passport holders from 'unrest' in Crimea'."

Equally, EU institutions do not know what is really going on.

When EUobserver met one senior EU diplomat in Kiev in 2011, he said: "What I need is an organigramme that tells me which Ukrainian oligarch is backing which political party at any given time."

What he asked for is hard intelligence, which the EU foreign service does not get.


The Rybachuk anecdote indicates the EU also failed to compete with Russia on soft power, however.

The anti-Yanukovych protests on Sunday show that soft power is not nothing.

But over the past 10 years, EU institutions did not adapt to the rules of the game in post-Soviet Europe.

Time and again, when a Ukrainian official walked into an EU meeting, he faced negotiators used to deadlines and compromises in the Brussels environment, who politely lectured him in English about "win-win" situations and "long term" benefits.

When Ukrainian oligarchs looked at the EU treaty, they saw a template which lets EU firms gain market share in the first years after adoption.But when they walked into the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine's big men sat down at tables bedecked with crystal glasses and bottles of Beluga vodka.

They met Russian diplomats with a background in Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, who talked to them in Ukrainian or Russian about immediate gains and threats.

"We don't know how to play geopolitics," an EU diplomat told EUobserver a few days before the EU deal collapsed.

"It's a clash of two worlds. Ukrainian politicians are completely different to us. They know the West only through visits to five star hotels," he noted.

He added that if the EU underestimated Putin, it also underestimated Yanukovych, who has played Brussels against Moscow to get "money, money, money" to help win elections in 2015.

When Yanukovych said No, the EU foreign service came close to using Russian tactics.It said in a statement on 21 November that if Ukraine abandons the EU path, it is unlikely to get International Monetary Fund aid, threatening a state default.The game is not easy, however.

The next day, Putin accused the EU of "blackmail," adding that EU countries are planning to "stage" mass protests in Kiev.

The same day, the EU foreign service reverted to form.Its spokeswoman told press in Brussels that Ukraine should meet EU "benchmarks." She added that Russia will not pay a price for its actions, describing it as an EU "strategic partner … important trade partner."But if there is fault on the EU side, EU countries take the lion's share.

The EU commission and the EU foreign service suffer under the weight of their own bureaucracy and technocratic culture.Their strategy for post-Soviet states - the Eastern Partnership of benchmarks, criteria - is not fit for purpose.

They also contain plenty of people who see Ukraine as a low priority, far lower than, say, China, US trade or the Middle East.

But if EU institutions did not give Ukraine an accession promise or visa free travel, if they did not threaten to throw Yanukovych under the bus or punish Putin for his interference, it is because leading EU states, such as Germany, France and the UK, did not give them the say-so.

Berlin, London and Paris have plenty of diplomats who know how to play dirty.Former Communist EU countries, such as Estonia or Poland, also know how to do business in the east.

But between them, EU leaders did not muster the political will to fight for Ukraine.


EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and neighbourhood commissioner Stefan Fuele could not win over Yanukovych in 11th-hour phone calls and trips to Kiev.

EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton was too busy on Iran.

But where was French President Francois Hollande or German Chancellor Angela Merkel when Yanukovych was meeting Putin in the run-up to the 21 November debacle?

Some Ukrainian diplomats have their own explanation, redolent of Soviet-era paranoia.


When Merkel in Lubmin, near the German-Polish border, in November 2011, turned on Nord Stream, a Russian-German gas pipeline which bypasses Ukraine, giving the Kremlin more influence over former Soviet and former Communist states, one Ukrainian diplomat recalled the Yalta Conference.

The Yalta meeting in 1945 saw the UK, the US and the Soviet Union carve up post-WWII Europe into east and west."

It's as if the Germans have done a deal with Russia: 'This is ours. This is yours. You can do with it what you want'," the Ukrainian diplomat told this website.


http://euobserver.com/foreign/122218
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 05:30:39 PM by Boethius »

Offline sleepycat

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2013, 06:31:03 PM »
I am about to fly over to Ukraine in two days time.
Still safe to go there???

Offline Boethius

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2013, 06:35:58 PM »
Of course.  You'll be fine.  Look at my link when it is daytime in Kyiv.  The demonstrations are very peaceful.

This raises yet another difference in Western and FSU mentality.  During the 2006 riots in Budapest, Russians, who, unlike Ukrainians, could travel there freely, were booking tours and hotel rooms, recognizing that prices had dropped due to Western timidity. :)

Offline JayH

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2013, 06:46:51 PM »
I am about to fly over to Ukraine in two days time.
Still safe to go there???

Look at it this way-- you will not have any luggage preventing you running !!!  LOL   ;D

The airports are out of the city. It would not stop me going to Kiev and would not give it a second thought. Only thing to do is be aware-- in case it got a lot worse-- but that is really unlikely.
Have a good trip-- and remember to keep us informed!! :)
GLORY TO UKRAINE !!!

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2013, 06:49:20 PM »
I am about to fly over to Ukraine in two days time.
Still safe to go there???

I would say yes. Go there but do not attend the riots or the area near there, even as a sightseer.
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Offline sleepycat

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2013, 09:09:11 PM »
Okay for this trip I will purchase travel insurance in case I need medical treatment after being shot with rubber bullets or tear gassed.

Offline JayH

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2013, 12:07:32 AM »
Okay for this trip I will purchase travel insurance in case I need medical treatment after being shot with rubber bullets or tear gassed.

No need -- they will not be rubber!! ;D

Just making fun of you SC !!The travel insurance is probably a good idea-- cover medical as well as missing luggage !!
GLORY TO UKRAINE !!!

Offline Boethius

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2013, 01:22:18 AM »
No live bullets, or rubber bullets, for that matter, will be fired on Maidan.  Maidan is on Khreshchatik, Kyiv's main street, and it is a street you should visit if you have not seen it before.  You will be perfectly safe.  I would not avoid it.  In fact, it may be a place where you will be able to interact with locals, assuming the protests are still happening.

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2013, 01:22:18 AM »

Offline Anotherkiwi

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2013, 03:25:57 AM »
Okay for this trip I will purchase travel insurance in case I need medical treatment after being shot with rubber bullets or tear gassed.

Is this in addition to the travel insurance which you purchased weeks or months ago when you booked your flight?  ;D

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Re: Ukraine rejects EU
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2013, 08:41:49 AM »
Read the rather lengthy article . . .

What the President of Ukraine did was shameful.  Further, many in Ukraine's east, especially the young people really wanted this.  Unlike Kuchma, this President doesn't have a solid base of support and is not percieved as asuccessful leader.

Rejecting EU association is ine thing, but using such negotiations to persoanlly enrich oneslef is shameful.  This is not over nor will it end well for the current president.  You reap what you sow.

 

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Re: Why was MH 17 on that course ? by Boethius
Today at 03:06:15 PM

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Re: My view of the war by missAmeno
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