Ukraine and the EU’s ‘Demise’

To follow up on Ukraine's foreign policy rebalancing under President Victor Yanukovich, it's worth noting that Yanukovich not only reiterated his desire to seek closer EU ties in his annual address to the country's diplomatic corps, he actually used stronger language than ever before to describe Ukraine's ultimate EU ambitions. Previously, Yanukovich had pulled back from seeking full EU membership, but he now not only called full membership a strategic goal, he called the "European prospect" the goal not just of Ukraine's diplomats, but of "the entire state machine, our economic and social reforms." That's strong language for someone who was supposedly bent on abandoning the West to return Ukraine into Russia's orbit.

More broadly, with regard to the EU, it's pretty easy these days to take cheap shots against the union, as the Chinese ambassador to the EU shockingly did yesterday, calling it "pitiful and pathetic that Europe can't make decisions on its own, without being influenced by other powers." (The remarks came in response to a Wiki-leaked U.S. cable instructing U.S. diplomats to pressure the EU against lifting its arms embargo on China.) American critics of the union's response to the sovereign debt crisis would probably shorten that to "Europe can't make decisions, period."

But nevertheless, the union plods onward. Estonia will adopt the euro, as planned, on Jan. 1, while today's EU summit is expected to approve a simplified technical treaty alteration to allow for a permanent bailout mechanism.

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