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21 September 2017
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AnalyticsUkrainian interest. Attacks before summit; Putin’s cynical and clumsy solutions

The terrorist attacks in Paris can seriously change the life of Europe. The Verkhovna Rada has finally given birth to amended legislation, required for the implementation of a Visa Liberalization Action Plan with the EU. EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini confirmed that the lifting of sanctions against Russia is tied to the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements. Putin has shown, once again, his trademark cynicism.

REUTERS
REUTERS

Friday, November 13, 2015, will always be associated with the terrorist attacks in Paris. The large-scale terrorist attack on the French capital has already claimed over a hundred lives. The Paris atrocities have the same chocking effect for the civilized world as that of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. soil back in 2001. ISIS has timed its attack precisely, to show its strength and ruthlessness on the eve of G-20 summit, due to begin next Monday in Turkey. And world leaders have to respond to the new challenge as quickly as possible.

Against the backdrop of Paris terror, the significance of the Verkhovna Rada’s tortuous voting for a bill allowing Ukraine expect a visa-free regime with the EU has declined substantially.

Against the backdrop of Paris terror, the significance of the Verkhovna Rada’s tortuous voting for a bill allowing Ukraine expect a visa-free regime with the EU has declined substantially.

There’s just one thing we need to ask the MPs: What have they been doing in parliamentary committees throughout the summer? Now it seems that the legislation so important for defining a vector of Ukraine’s foreign policy is adopted by a "grab-it-or-lose-it” principle. Meanwhile, the political forces who have sworn to be loyal to the ideals of the Euromaidan, suddenly find themselves infected with some cavemen’s obscurantism. It seems that the members of parliament are not fully aware that the process of European integration is coupled with the adoption of tough, not always popular, bills.

Verkhovna Rada’s decisions give grounds for timid optimism / Photo from UNIAN
Verkhovna Rada’s decisions give grounds for timid optimism / Photo from UNIAN

In any case, the hard-won adoption of EU-required bills gave Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin grounds for cautious optimism, as Ukraine has fulfilled all of its legislative obligations regarding visa liberalization. Ukraine’s chances for a visa-free regime are quite high, as the move is not at all costly to the EU, at the same time allowing to support Ukraine on its path of European integration. Ian Tombinski, EU Ambassador to Ukraine, stressed that the EU will not amend the Association Agreement with Ukraine, while the DCFTA will come into effect January 1, 2016. However, Russia is known to have threatened embargo on Ukrainian products.

Top EU diplomat Federica Mogherini visited Kyiv early last week, confirming that the lifting of sanctions against Russia is linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements by the Kremlin. Unfortunately, the situation in the Donbas is not promising: the militants continue attacks on the Ukrainian troops, while the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line is only formal. It is unlikely that the European Union and the United States have no full information about what is happening in eastern Ukraine. But the apparent rise of tensions in the area of the ​​largest conflict in Europe did not prevent Putin from shedding crocodile tears in an interview with Interfax news agency about the fate of Donbas, blaming the U.S. Congress for its decision to provide lethal aid to Ukraine. The Lord of the Kremlin asked, quite cynically, whether Washington is pushing Kyiv toward the escalation, even though the whole world knows who arms separatists and Russian “vacationers” in Donbas.

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