Borys Kushniruk

I have repeatedly had to say that apparently I won’t have definite confidence as to the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU before the day of the conduction of the Vilnius summit. Stakes are too big in geopolitical and Ukraine’s internal political fight which goes on around this event. There is enough of those who want to prevent it. At the same time, all governmental offices of the EU Member States and the US have the understanding of the strategic importance of this Agreement. Therefore, despite the existence of the unresolved question about the conditions of Yuliya Tymoshenko’s release , there is hope that it will be settled before the summit.

But life doesn’t stop on November 30. Therefore, everyone understands that in case of the successful conduction of the Vilnius summit, Russia will do everything it can to make Ukraine pay as much as possible for this final change of geopolitical development. Proceeding from this, we should expect the most rigid actions directed at the economic and further political destabilization of Ukraine from the Russian authorities.

They will try to create economic problems by means of introducing restrictions upon the export of Ukrainian goods under any pretext. And the main difficulties should be expected not from the raised customs tariffs, with which Russian authorities are trying to frighten us already now. They will more likely create artificial restrictions of technical character and pay no attention at the violation of the WTO norms. They will traditionally pretend that are not breaking any regulations.

A bright example is the history with the full suspension of export of confectionery production of the ROSHEN company to Russia. At first, an absurd charge which became the reason for full blocking of export of the production of this company was proclaimed. After this they were deciding with inspection check of confectioneries of this company for a long time. Then the situation became even more funny. Representatives of Russian confectionery companies, as it became clear, direct competitors of the ROSHEN company, came together with inspectors from the Russian supervisory authority. As a matter of fact, for the purpose of technological espionage.

Then, without announcing official results, they started voicing new charges. Which have no relation to those claims which became the reason for blocking of export of the Ukrainian production to Russia. And this can proceed for a long time.

Export of other Ukrainian production to Russia will obviously be blocked according to the similar scenario.

Therefore, Ukrainian enterprises delivering production to Russia will highly probably have to face essential difficulties.

Supply of energy resources will be another direction to create problems for Ukraine. We should expect Russia trying to stop gas supply to Ukraine under any pretext at the end of current or at the beginning of the next year.

The cut-down will be purposefully ties to the time of the most bitter frosts, when consumption and need for gas import is objectively the greatest.

Probably, they won’t risk doing this prior to the conduction of the winter Olympic Games which will start on January 30 in Sochi. Because this can lead to the threat of their boycott. But they will for sure try to use it as means of pressure upon Ukraine.

Therefore, Ukraine and the European Union should be ready to face tough tests this winter.

Ukraine will need support on the side of the leaders of the EU countries and the US. It will be possible to resist to this pressure from Russia only in case of coordination and solidarity of actions. This pressure can’t be long. If Russian authorities feel that the further they do it, the more blackmailing, economic and energy blockade start harming the Russian economy and the ruling regime, they will be compelled to change the policy. And only after that a new stage of relations between Ukraine and the EU, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, will begin.


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