This Thursday, a summit between the EU and the Ukraine will take place in Brussels, President Petro Poroshenko is going to meet with EU officials and is likely to receive praise for his attempts at reform. But he will also have to listen to some criticism. Behind the scenes, the European Union is losing patience with the Kiev’s slow progress on the fight against corruption. Another issue is the conflict in the east of the Ukraine that seems to be nowhere near a resolution. Although the European Union favors and supports the Ukraine, the slow progress of the country is frustrating many in Brussels.
European Support for the Ukraine
It’s been three years since a violent uprising in Kiev overthrew the previous president of the Ukraine, who was pro-Russian. The pro-EU side of the Ukraine won. Yet the country is nowhere closer to the European Union, as deep-rooted corruption keeps holding the country back. At the EU-Ukraine summit, President Petro Poroshenko is going to receive indications as to what more could be done to bring the Ukraine closer to the European Union.
Support for the Ukraine among European Union officials seems to be going strong. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk recently complimented Petro Poroshenko for his leadership on Twitter.
“3 years since EuroMaidan. Ukraine on right track under President Poroshenko’s leadership. EU support remains strong,”
tweeted European Council President Donald Tusk.
Tusk may have been remembering the 2014 street revolt in a positive way. But the events from three years ago and Ukraine’s aspirations at a strategic position that is closer to the West took its toll. As protesters and Ukrainian security forces clashed, many lost their lives. After that, it was not long after Viktor Yanukovich left office that a pro-Russian insurgency started.
It all culminated with Russia annexing the peninsula of Crimea after a referendum. Ukraine lost Crimea and for a while stood to lose the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk. The conflict to the east of the country is still unresolved. France and Germany have been attempting peace efforts for the past two years with little success. Russia has received economic sanctions from the European Union over the situation in the Ukraine. But things haven’t changed.
The Political Future of the Ukraine
The West is accusing Russia of being the driving force behind the insurgency in the east of the Ukraine. Moscow has been denying that as well as protesting the sanctions imposed by the EU. Germany and France have invited both Russia and the Ukraine for another joint meeting regarding the conflict in Ukraine’s industrial east next week.
In the Ukraine, some feel that the European Union has not shown enough support as they were facing off Russia. The recent election in the United States has given average Ukrainians more reason to worry. As they watched the presidential campaign, they saw Donald Trump advocating a working relationship between the United States and Russia. Now, that Trump has won the election, there are concerns regarding what this could mean for their country. Cooperation between Washington and Moscow could leave the Ukraine out in the cold.
Image source: here.