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Ivan Datsenko from Ukraine is the leader of the Indians and the agent of the Soviet intelligence service

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The U.S. State Department: Russia prepares aggression against the USA by hand of Chukchi people

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The truth of history: Wehrmacht, just as SS, slaughtered and raped on a mass scale

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The USA and other organizers of anti-Russian sanctions stand up for Nemtsov's murder

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The East partnership – it is not necessary to wait for fast results

The East partnership is the project of the European Union which was presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland with the participation of Sweden on the Council of the EU of the general questions and external relations on May 26, 2008. The main goal of the project is the EU rapprochement with 6 countries of the former USSR: Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Belarus. The project caused ambiguous reaction in the Russian expert circles at once. Selection of the countries and stated purposes allow to make the assumption of far-reaching geopolitical tasks of this European program of cooperation, the tasks, which aren't sounded in official documents of Partnership in an explicit form. First of all it is a strengthening of geopolitical influence and strengthening of positions of the EU in the specified CIS countries. We asked the scientific director of Institute of Euro-Atlantic cooperation (Kiev) Alexander Valeryevich Sushko to comment on how Ukraine treats this situation.

- How intensively is the cooperation of Ukraine within the East partnership and what are the prospects at present thanks to participation in this project?

Ukraine initially takes part in all formats and initiatives provided by the East partnership. First of all, it is connected with participation of official structures of the government in all four platforms of the East partnership and in thematic programs, so-called, flagman initiatives. If to speak about the specifics, it concerns the regional cooperation in the sphere of borders management, migratory policy and the initiatives in the transport sphere. And if to speak about the general principles, so the East partnership provides a combination both multilateral, and bilateral, individual types of activity. For example, we can consider the completion of work on the contract on association with the EU as one of participation manifestations in Partnership.
It is possible to consider the processes of visa liberalization in a context of the East partnership. In this cooperation Ukraine aspires to execute criteria which were provided in 2010 for receiving a visa-free regime. Besides, the power cooperation is carried out. And also the cooperation in the sphere of civil society, but it is not the government question, but the society question. There is “Forum of civil society” of the East partnership where some tens of the Ukrainian public organizations take active part.

- What do you think of the statement made in the Polish newspaper “Rzeczpospolita” that: “The adoption of the East partnership program will allow Poland to carry out the introduction strategy to “zone of responsibility of the CIS” and “coverage of the East of Europe bypassing Russia?” Does the East partnership really have such strategic objectives?

The vocabulary of this statement isn't so similar to the Polish. Some Russian analysts and politicians usually use such vocabulary. In principle, the geopolitics is not that motive which moves the East partnership. “Bypassing Russia” is the terminology for convenience of issue vision by Russia to introduce the confrontational logic here. If we introduce it, that is that Russia fights against the European Union for some countries of the Eastern Europe, then it is so. But I am sure that only very small part of people in the European Union, in particular, those who make political decisions, uses such logic.

- Thus, do you consider the opinion of some Russian experts erroneous that the East partnership is directed on undermining of geopolitical influence of Russia in Eastern Europe and CIS countries?

The matter is not about the opinion, but of the conceptual device, the terminology: “the undermining of geopolitical influence on the territories of the CIS”. And what is the territory of the CIS, by what it is demarked, that any regional cooperation is considered in the following way? Such vocabulary or such conceptual device arise only in that case when someone applies for exclusive rights on certain territories and then any participation of any external actor is perceived as a call to this intention to dominate independently. In principle, it is erroneous logic, but someone still uses it in Russia.

If some partners are going to cooperate with you, if you aspire to all-round integration into world processes, so it is perceived as the certain call to individual domination of any country in any territory. Actually, there is no any space of the CIS, lawfully certain as the sphere of influence of only Russia. It is certain construct, operating only in consciousness of some people. The matter is not in opinion, but that the conceptual device reflects those realities which aren't present in the world for a long time. Nevertheless, people, of course, have the right to think so.

- Is it true, that the most important component of the East partnership is its power component, the contribution to creation of power supply ways of Europe alternative to Russia such as Nabucco and the White stream? Possibly, the structure of the countries entering into the East partnership is caused namely by that?

Certainly, the power cooperation is present, as one of the directions, but I don't see any proofs of that it dominates. In any case, there are no any facts which would say that this subject prevails. The matter is that here it is very important to have the consolidated position of the European Union on the subject of the power safety. It is not the issue of Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is considered as one of the suppliers, but it is not the major factor. The main thing is who will invest in pipe construction. But it is a question not to the countries of the East partnership. I do not think that it is possible to solve something at this level in this sphere.

- One of the German analytical centers estimated the East partnership as “the project which landed earlier, than started”. In your opinion, does the decrease in activity of work of this project is really observed?

One, who wasn't especially fascinated, won't be disappointed. If someone expected that in these six countries there would be sharp, fundamental changes after the announcement of this project, so there were the naive expectations. Actually, any policy here is very difficult owing to the heterogeneity of the region. These six countries very differ among themselves. If they have something in general, so it is the Soviet past. But since then these countries very dispersed in the trajectories. Therefore it is impossible to apply the analogy, for example, with the Central Europe or with the former Yugoslavia. Because it is more accurate and homogeneous there. Perhaps, there is the different level of the development, but there is no such fundamental difference between the countries, including the choice of valuable reference points. There are no questions concerning the alternative to the European vector of the development in the Central and Southern Europe.

And such discussions are still urgent in the countries of the East partnership. Therefore it is very difficult to offer and realize any complete policy here. Only the tactics of small steps taking into account the identity of the countries, their national and political features is applicable in this region. Hence, it was not necessary and it is not necessary to expect any revolutionary breaks. This project is calculated on long-term work. There are people in political circles, including the EU, who are interested only in fast, instant results, from which it is possible to take political dividends. But the East partnership is not that project from which it is possible to take fast, political results. Therefore, probably, it would seem rather boring for someone.

Viewed : 866   Commented: 3

Author: Mikhail Mikhaylov

Publication date : 27 April 2012 02:37

Source: The world and we

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