The last 5 years have changed Ukraine a lot: civil war in the East, high utility and gas tariffs…. The path to Europe turned out to be a hoax. A lot has been changed but not the authorities.The same people with the same methods are fighting for the presidential post. But many of us have heard your cry, and understood. Even though for some people it took quite a time. And thus, today being here in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine I can say not only from my name but on behalf of the EU.
The main news in the European Media of the past month about Ukraine was the 5th anniversary of Maidan, where journalists analyzed the achievements and failures of the Ukrainian revolution and talked a lot about the European and Euro-Atlantic course for Kyiv, mostly in a negative context, in spite of Kyiv’s intentions, which have recently been enshrined constitutionally.
Before the five-year anniversary of Maidan, one of the leading Flemish publications came out in an interview with European politician: Guy Verhofstadt. The material, however, received a rather unexpected headline: “Ukraine is a member of the EU? I do not think this is the right way “. The journalist asks unpleasant questions about the same oligarchs as five years ago, the absence of combating corruption, the persecution of journalists, and so on. To this, Verhofstadt answers: “I read in the reports that a series of steps in the right direction were made, but this is not enough. Of course, you can talk about a glass that is half full or half empty – the justice system has been reformed and there are improvements in other areas. But, of course, there is still something to work on.”But when Verhofstadt is asked about the European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine, recently enshrined in the Constitution, he says: “I also do not support Ukraine’s membership in the EU. I do not think this is the right way. I see the EU as a community of about twenty well-integrated states, while the rest of the states have Association Agreements with the EU, among them is Ukraine.” In response to the journalist’s question, whether Ukraine, at the moment, is as far away as possible from the EU – a politician from the ALDE group responds positively.
February 19, the end date of the Euromaidan – Jan Balliauw, an analyst at the Belgian station VRT, wrote: only 5 years later did it become clear that this was a turning point in European history – when a relatively calm period came to the end in Europe.
The expert, who himself witnessed those events, remembers the horrors and death on the Maidan and adds: “President Putin has repeatedly stated, unequivocally, that Ukraine will never become a member of NATO. But Maidan became a clear step on the way to joining the alliance “, – the journalist says and retells the further history of the seizure of Crimea and the creation of the republics.
“We are now in a period of heavy confrontation between Russia and the West. The prospect of war is again on the horizon. It is precisely the Baltic countries and some Eastern European countries that are being threatened by Russia “, – the expert concludes. It notes that Russia does not dare attack the countries of Western Europe, and therefore uses their greatest achievement against them – freedom of speech and thought. Russian information campaigns are aimed at causing disagreements to sow confusion and riots in society.
Pilgrims roam the Institutska Street, with candles in their hands and tears in their eyes. Here, on February 20, 2014, the Maidan revolution broke out in bloody events. For a few hours snipers killed 48 people. Two days later, authoritarian President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Moscow – writes the French Publication: Oest France.
Five years after this, the memory is darkened by disappointment. “The investigation into the Maidan’s killings did not bring tangible results,” said human rights defender Oleksandra Matviitchuk. Only fifty-two were convicted of the 442 accused persons and only 9 of them are in jail. The publisher notes that current law enforcement officers are opposed to justice on the Maidan offenders because they want to protect their own people. Meantime, President Poroshenko has other affairs, because the election campaign is waiting for him.
Five years after the bloody events on Maidan Square, conflict in Ukraine is still ongoing, and the EU still does not know what can be done. – says the Dutch NRC Handelsblad edition in the article: How Maidan scared Europe and how it remains so. Journalists spoke with European politicians who participated in events commemorating the revolution in Ukraine. “Europe still does not have a clear plan for Ukraine” – the source cites another source that did not want to be named. “The involved people no longer want their names in the newspaper – the Ukrainian dossier became too sensitive,” reporters write.
Next, the edition quotes a European diplomat who recalls the events leading to the Euromaidan who said that Europe was not ready for neither the refusal to sign the Association Agreement by Yanukovych, nor the further developments in Kiev.
“What can the EU offer to Ukraine in 2019? Asked a journalist.” And gives the answer of Tony van der Togt, a former Dutch diplomat in Russia. “Persistence is a magic word,” he says with irony. “It means something like: we will help Ukraine to better resist Russia, but in fact nobody knows what to do with Ukraine,” the diplomat concludes.
In Ukraine – there is a record number of presidential candidates, headed by a comedian – writes the publication Het laatste nieuws. The publication notes that it is very difficult to predict the outcome of the election. The struggle will unfold between the heavyweights of Ukrainian politics Yulia Tymoshenko and Petro Poroshenko. “They are, however, frightened by 41st unexpected candidate: the 41 year old actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, according to polls on public opinion, he has perhaps the greatest chance “- the publication writes.
In the coming months of the presidential campaigns, Ukraine will become a platform not only for fierce political battles, but also for a variety of cyberwars.
The Brussels edition of Polititico tells about how Ukraine became a test site for cyber weapons. “It may not be possible to find a better place to watch a cyber conflict in action, apart from today’s Ukraine. The open war with Russia, a highly skilled computer literate pool of talent and a unique political, economic and IT environment have made the country an ideal sandbox for those who want to test new cyber weapons, tactics and tools,” the journalist writes. The publication notes that pro-Russian hackers test their new tools in Ukraine, and Ukrainian strategic objects are under constant threat. “This activity has intensified on the eve of the presidential election in March, says Derevyanko. – quotes the expert’s edition. Since November, hacking groups attack Ukrainian magistrates, government officials, lawyers and others by emails that contain attachments with malware and viruses – sometimes masked for Christmas greetings, or as a message from the prime minister’s office. ” Throughout Ukraine, pro-Russian hackers can use the infrastructure and other facilities in Europe – since Ukrainian networks are now closely linked to the European ones. Because in Ukraine -the active use of pirated software that is not equipped with a defence tools – makes it a weak point on the digital map of Europe. The United States and other countries are working to fix this situation. The situation, however remains unchanged.
One more, unjoyful new for Ukraine, and indeed for the whole European community, or at least for that part that seeks independence from Russian gas. With the active support of Germany, the Nord Stream-2 scandalous gas pipeline will still be built. The European Union has amended the legislation accordingly, so that the project can be implemented. The position of Angela Merkel has caused considerable criticism among the expert and media series.
Thanks to the efforts of the great supporter of the project – German chancellor Angela Merkel, the last obstacle in the way of the construction of Nord Stream 2 is overcome, the Belgian edition of De Standaart writes in the article: More Dependent on Russian Gas. The authour notes that the construction of a new gas pipeline seems pretty clear for Russia – Putin’s regime exists on income generated from gas and oil, but why Angela Merkel is such a passionate supporter of the project is harder to understand. The publication says that the chancellor’s argument that this is a commercial project and that she wants to provide Europe with cheap gas is difficult to take seriously. The publication notes that this does not fit into the EU’s strategic energy independence plan, according to which the EU needs to diversify its energy sources. The publication notes that Putin’s Russia traditionally uses gas as a weapon. “So Poland, Ukraine and other eastern European countries have a feeling that their interests are secondary to the interests of Berlin and Paris,” the edition concludes.
Merkel supports Russia’s use of gas as a weapon out of her own interest, writes the author of The Daily telegraph.
The journalist says that at a press conference, Merkel defended the scandalous Nord Stream pipeline, ignoring the fact that Russia would be using it as a weapon. “At the end, she said that the route of Russian gas to Europe had little value, because gas is gas,” the journalist writes. She notes that Germany is promising to provide the Ukrainian gas pipeline with the necessary facilities, but says that the Germans are complaining that they have to pay for the full price of the gas with included transit costs, and then resell it to Ukraine without a transit price – it means that Ukraine will be purchasing gas on the spot market.
Russia can admit its responsibility for the tragedy of MH-17, a plane, which crashed in the East of Ukraine in 2014. Or at least the Netherlands is trying to negotiate with the Kremlin in order to achieve such a result – the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad writes.
“The Netherlands, along with Australia, officially recognized Russia as responsible for the tragedy, in which 298 people have died” the newspaper writes and notes that such a conclusion has been reached, since they are certain – Russia is responsible for the installation of the UAV rocket from which the plane was shot down. Russia still categorically denies it. However, the fault lies in part also in Ukraine – notes the publication.
“The flight of the Malaysia airlines over the conflict zone was no exception. According to the Security Council, Ukraine knew that anti-aircraft guns that could reach the heights of commercial flights were used on that territory, and therefore it had to close the airspace.” – the edition concludes.
However, there are some positive news. The European Union has changed the name of Ukraine’s capital to Kyiv in e-mail of its employees, in accordance with the norms of the Ukrainian transliteration. As it is known, previously everyone used the Soviet transliteration. This was announced by the press office of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine David Stulik on Facebook. “Finally, the EU changed the name of the capital of Ukraine from” Kiev “to” Kyiv! “This applies to our mails,” Stulik said.