One view in the Kyiv Post is that the signing should take place, no matter what, as a major impetus for Ukraine’s leaders to change their undemocratic ways and a major tool for Europe to prod them to it. Without the incentive of an association agreement, according to this argument, Ukrainians may be locked out of institutional development, free trade and free travel for years to come.
The opposite view is that no signing should take place at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania on Nov. 28-29 unless Ukraine’s leaders are forthcoming on basic EU requirements. Going easy on Ukraine would send the wrong signal to Ukraine’s unworthy leaders, according to this line of thinking.
President Viktor Yanukovych can certainly increase the chances of such a signature taking place by dropping the fiction that he has nothing to do with ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s imprisonment since 2011. Then he should pardon her and let her go free. But freeing Tymoshenko is not enough.