UN has released this week its fifth report on the human rights situation in Ukraine. Over 6000 people now estimated to have been killed in less than a year, of which the report said many are civilians and foreign (read Russian) combatants.
Much has happened since the protests on the Maidan, and Parliament of Ukraine signed the Association Agreement with the EU. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, Geopolitics a zero sum game. Instead of respecting the Ukrainian people want to control their own future, Putin chose to interpret the association agreement as a declaration of war. Ill-prepared Western powers woke up to a fact which Russian troops annexed the Crimea and the eastern parts of the country was on fire.
But Putin’s actions have had consequences for the Ukrainian population’s views on the EU and NATO. A majority in the new parliament now consists of pro-Western members and for the first time ever, over half of the citizens of accession to NATO.
While the West falters and does not have a clear action plan for President Poroshenko that Ukraine should be ready for EU entry in 2020 and made a list of changes that must be in place. But for this to happen, the Western countries should more actively support Ukraine now, in terms of the country’s two most pressing challenges: security situation and the economic crisis.
The Ukrainian currency has just reached new lows. The World Bank has indeed promised $ 17.5 billion, but it is almost six months ago that any payment to Ukraine actually occurred. The lack of money is acute. Inflation is at 29%. Poverty grows. At the end of 2015, the average citizen to be 30% poorer than when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Even more acute is the reluctance of Kyiv faced by the EU when it comes to support for the military operations in the eastern parts of the country. Western countries have notoriously imposed comprehensive sanctions against Russia (which in combination with low oil prices) certainly weakened the Russian economy. But Putin’s support at home has proven integrity and sanctions ended in the summer of Europe’s leaders are not fully agree. And the consensus among EU leaders are in danger when left extreme SYRIZA now ruling in Athens opposes sanctions.
EU cannot fail Ukraine now. The people who died on the Maidan shall not have died in vain. More economic and military support is absolutely necessary.
Lars Adaktusson, MEP for the Christian Democrats, Sweden