January 12, 2015
Translated from Russian by J. Hawk
Duty-free trade between Ukraine and EU turned out to be simply a “nice fairy tale with a sad ending”, said the leader of the “Ukrainian Choice” movement Viktor Medvedchuk.
The Verkhovna Rada supported the Cabinet of Minister’s initiative and introduced import duties. A week later Kiev decided to carry out immediate consultations with the European Commission to convince the Eurocommissars that the import duties, even though they violate the letter of the triumphantly signed Association Agreement, are a matter of life and death for Ukraine,” Medvedchuk wrote on his Facebook page.
“Here’s what’s striking: the government did not even attempt to discuss this innovation of duty-free trade with the people, which were after all promised by the Maidan leaders that Ukrainians would see high-quality European goods at affordable prices. Duty-free trade simply turned out to be a pretty fairy tale…with a sad ending,” – writes Medvedchuk.
Toward the end of December the European Business Association announced that the law on the additional import duties adopted by the Rada violates the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs of the WTO and other international agreements, and therefore has to be coordinated with the EU.
We remind that in the Spring the EU either reduced or eliminated import duties on most industrial and agricultural exports from Ukraine to the EU.
Well, this is not going to sit well! Preferential access, over Russian goods, to the Ukrainian markets was one of the major incentives the EU had for pushing the association agreement, overthrowing the lawfully constituted Ukrainian government, and turning a blind eye on the resurgence of fascism in Ukraine. And now the ungrateful Ukrainians are going back on their word? While at the same time asking for tens of billions in credits? If this keeps up, if the Ukraine-related losses continue to mount and gains continue to diminish, somebody within the EU might finally notice fascism in Ukraine, which only a return to constitutional (and Russia-friendly) governance would take care of. While at the same time ridding EU of its festering Ukrainian problem.