BRUSSELS, November 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Brussels is being accused of "doing nothing" to help Ukraine while Russia steers it towards economic crisis, according to a Polish MEP, who has attacked the EU's obsession with Yulia Tymoshenko.
Pawel Zalewski Tuesday criticised the EU's inadequate and "ridiculous" plans to help the Ukrainian economy should it sign the Association Agreement. Under that deal, Kiev will get around one billion euros in emergency funding at a time when trade between Ukraine and its biggest trading partner, Russia, has slumped 23 percent on the back of this summer's trade dispute, widely viewed to have been engineered by Moscow.
Contrast this, says Zalewski, with the 423 billion euros that has been channelled to help Greece, Spain and Portugal through the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
"It's a ridiculous amount compared to the resources allocated to rescue Southern Europe from bankruptcy," he said.
He has also defended Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who he says is wrongly portrayed as the sole obstacle to Ukraine's EU deal.
"Contrary to what they say in the European media, it is not the position of the President of Ukraine that is the underlying cause of the crisis in bilateral relations," Zalewski said, pointing out that Yanukovych's main concern is how the economy will conform to European standards once the Association Agreement is signed.
He said Yanukovych has been going to the IMF and the EU for financial aid for two years, but has simply been "bounced off the walls."
And Zalewski further warns the EU's insistence on the freedom of Yulia Tymoshenko sets the stage for instability in Ukraine, because she won't hesitate to use an economic downturn to her own advantage.
As a result, he has called for a change in the focus of the European Parliament's mission to Ukraine, headed by Patrick Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski. Zalewski says the priority should be ensuring the Ukrainian economy survives integration, rather than just the overly simplistic issue of Tymoshenko.
"If we can introduce European standards in Ukraine, Putin will no longer be able to continue to convince Russians that their country belongs to a different civilization, to which European values and standards don't apply," he said, adding that most European politicians are not mature enough to play this important geopolitical game.
SOURCE Ukraine Monitor