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You're reading: Ukrainians are fighting the wrong enemy

Ukraine is
believed to be one step from joining the Eurasian Customs Union, with President
Viktor Yanukovych reportedly planning to go to Moscow and sign agreements there
on Dec. 18. According to prominent members of Ukrainian civil society, the
European Union is the only thing that can help stop this eastward slide.

All Brussels
has to do, it is said, is sign the Association Agreement that would tie Ukraine
to the European Union and all discussion about Kyiv’s orientation would come to
a halt. When a group of Ukrainian experts sent a letter to EU leaders urging them to sign the agreement, that
is what they implicitly meant. The Association Agreement has become a tool in a
geopolitical fight between Brussels and Moscow, and Brussels will be assigned
the role of the guilty party if Ukraine joins the Customs Union. 

Kyiv has
received invitations to all Moscow-led integration initiatives, including this
one, but has managed to stay at arm’s length from most of them. And its suggestion
of a 3+1 framework for cooperation that would have entailed free trade between
the Customs Union and Ukraine was rejected by Moscow. This time, some Ukrainian
experts suggest, the situation is different. 

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