WASHINGTON, July 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the US-Ukraine Observer:
Ukraine policy expert Taras Kuzio argues that time is running out for Ukraine to choose between the East or West and that the release of former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko would help anchor Ukraine inside Europe. In his commentary for the Global Post, Kuzio writes: "US and EU diplomats are feverishly attempting to square the box by facilitating a face-saving solution to the Tymoshenko problem by the Ukrainian authorities agreeing to send her to Germany for medical treatment. But this step, which sounds relatively easy to accomplish, opens up a Pandora's box for the United States and European Union. Would it require Yanukovych to pardon her of the crime of 'abuse of office' she was sentenced for two years ago? And what about the additional murder charge hanging over head? More importantly, would the electoral benefits in 2015, when Yanukovych stands for re-election, of taking Ukraine into Europe be bigger than Tymoshenko, his irrevocable foe, being free to campaign against him; albeit from abroad."
Kuzio acknowledges that the problems Western policymakers face are much greater than the release of Tymoshenko. "Ukrainian experts at the Renaissance Foundation, Ukraine's branch of the philanthropic fund set up by oligarch George Soros, pointed out that Ukraine has not fulfilled any of the 11 benchmarks set by the EU for the signing to go ahead. Both Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov in a recent interview in Le Figaro have rejected use of benchmarks out of hand. Ukraine's leaders continue to believe that they should be permitted to sign the association agreement for geopolitical reasons and that no outside body such as the EU should have a say in their domestic affairs," writes Kuzio.
In his commentary, Kuzio argues that Ukraine does not face any serious sanctions from the United States and that the main opposition for Ukraine's move toward Europe comes from Germany: "Kiev knows it has little to fear from the US Senate Resolution 165 on Ukraine, recently introduced and pending in the Foreign Relations Committee; it does not threaten sanctions and has nothing in common with the Magnitsky Bill on Russia. The EU has never had an appetite for sanctions on Ukraine because many of its members, especially Cyprus and Britain (and its offshore zones BVI and Belize), receive billions of dollars each year in money sent by oligarchs offshore to evade taxes… Germany remains the leading opponent of signing but not because of human rights and Tymoshenko. Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic — all strong supporters of signing — see the association agreement as leading one day to full EU membership for Ukraine. This is precisely why the Germans, who are adamantly against EU (and NATO) enlargement, are using the human rights card that Yanukovych has so conveniently provided for them."
Taras Kuzio heads the Ukraine Policy Forum at the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the School of Advanced International Relations, Johns Hopkins University.
Global Post: "Releasing Yulia Tymoshenko would help anchor Ukraine inside Europe" http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/commentary/releasing-yulia-tymoshenko-ukraine-inside-Yanukovych#1
CONTACT: US-Ukraine Observer, Frank Abernathy, 615-290-5662, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE U.S.-Ukraine Observer