This biannual gathering is the European Union’s initiative to spread democracy eastward to six former Soviet republics – Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
But the leader of this class, Ukraine, has not made adequate progress in meeting the EU’s conditions for signature of an association and trade agreement, including the big three demands: freedom of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as part of an end to selective prosecution; a curb on prosecutorial powers as part of establishing a more just court system; and the strengthening of election laws to ensure that the presidential election of 2015 is fair.
When the EU doesn’t want to do something or is divided, it delays action. Polish Foreign Minister Radislaw Sikorski suggested as much this week. It is fair to ask whether Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, despite his rhetoric, really wants to meet the whole packet of EU conditions, which will only become more demanding after signature.