Liubov Akulenko, Radoslava Chekmysheva, for UP. May 27th, 2014.
The trending topics in Ukraine’s informational space are the presidential elections and the events in the East of Ukraine.
Henceforth the topic of European integration is out of the spotlight.
However, it is not surprising that it could become the premise for informational and economical victory of Ukraine in the Russian-Ukrainian war and the exit from the political and economical crisis.
The winner of the presidential race according to the results of the CEC – Petro Poroshenko – noted in his first speech: “I am convinced that within one or two years Ukraine will comply (with its obligations). As to the external policy priorities, they will be, undoubtedly, the realisation of the point of the Association Agreement with the EU.
I will do everything in power so that within one or two years Ukraine complies with the major part of it obligations according to the Association Agreement and has the opportunity to receive a prospective membership in the European Union.”
Russia is counting on Ukraine to “fail” the Association Agreement with the EU. Thus, Ukrainians will be disappointed with Europe, and the political attractiveness of the pro-Russian vector of Ukraine will begin to spread among Ukrainians.
By not speaking of the Agreement, the Ukrainian informational front is creating a flaw in the country’s defence. And pro-Russian propaganda is filling it in with illusive information about the non-beneficial European integration for Ukraine.
In these conditions it is much easier for Russia to continue its military action on our territory. As the East and South of Ukraine are still afraid of the Agreement in light of not knowing its details.
The thesis that war is not a fight between ideologies, but the strive to achieve influence over financial flows is becoming especially relevant for Ukraine.
Currently many Ukrainian companies, for example, cheese producers, are suffering from the suspension of trade with Russia. Ukraine exported about 70% of its own cheese to Russia and was one of the biggest cheese exporters to Russia after Belarus.
In the Association Agreement with the EU there are no limitations on this type of goods, thus the Agreement can salvage the companies, as it will give an opportunity of beneficial export of goods, with the zero percent tax.
Ukrainian producers could already exit to the Polish and German markets within the volumes that exited to the Russian one. But they cannot do this, as the EU is demanding that Ukraine implement the European system of food safety, NASSR. It is sufficient to pass the according law for this. However the Verkhovna Rada has not done this in the last 5 years.
Russia is, as they say, “foolish, foolish, but cunning.” As though it is standing against the European Union, it is implementing European standards in order to have the opportunity of trade with the EU.
Russia understands very well that Soviet standards are no longer competitive. Therefore starting July 1st, 2013 European principles of food safety became compulsory for the food industry entering the Russian market for the Customs Union.
It turns out that even if trade relations are renewed between Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine will not be able to export its produce there.
A similar situation regards industrial goods. On September 17th, 2013 Russia signed an agreement with the EU regarding cooperation between European and Russian standardisation bodies. The goal is the gradual implementation of European standards for Russian industrial goods for export to the EU. In the short-term perspective Ukrainian goods will not be accepted neither in Russia nor in the EU.
The salvation for Ukraine is the passing of according laws regarding food produce and industrial goods and their compliance.
The foreign political image of Ukraine at the moment is a put-down, humiliated state which is fearfully trying to move towards European democracy; always promising to carry out reforms, but does not do so.
This rhetoric does not make us attractive for the world. It will not be possible to continue promising and doing nothing. The country is on the brink of economical collapse.
Therefore the new President will have a unique opportunity to become part of history as a politician that made Ukraine into a flourishing state. He has to make a tremendous effort in order to provide effective realisation of the Association Agreement. He has to become the catalyst of change, a person who clearly comprehends what tasks are presumed by the Agreement and who will have the political will to realise them.
In the Ukrainian post-Soviet conscious, Europe is clean streets, high-quality goods, high salaries, quality education, the absence of corruption, legal comprehension, freedom of speech, accountability of the government. In short, it is a high level of life.
By establishing legislation and implementing the Agreement, Ukraine is making the biggest step towards European quality of life in the last 20 years. In the words of political “predecessors,” it is a step towards improvement, including that in the social sphere. And the Agreement is a recipe, how to do it.
The goal of the Ukrainian society is to prepare a socio-economical borsch with this recipe.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina
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