EU, USA and Ukraine Since publishing “The new EU and its embroilment in Global Ostpolitik”  in jimsresearchnotes on 2 Feb 2010, the EU has acted to begin the process of recruiting the Ukraine. In those 4 years the EU has expanded east at a phenomenal rate, but the most recent attempt to swallow the entire Ukraine shows how history lessons have not been learned on either side of the Atlantic. $5 billions spent to persuade the Ukraine to join the EU as an associate. And shortly after the US upped the ante with a further $15 billions. Now a further EU package of $1,500 billions in loans and grants has been used to counter the Russian funding proposal.

The breakup of the Habsburg Empire after the First World War left much bitterness after the Treaty of Trianon of 1920 abolished the Habsburg Empire. Hungarians felt particularly betrayed, as is eloquently explained in this history learning site. It is a bitterness that continues to this day, and like so much bitterness it is expressed in extremist political reactions in which ethnic minorities like jews are often made a target of blame. This Jobbik website page on Ukraine (interestingly enough, the whole website is written in impeccable English!) caught my attention.

The EU is a Ramshackle Empire: Countries join the EU by a process that is not in the remotest sense “democratic”. The all-powerful Council of Ministers makes its decisions  once-removed from its electorates. The problem lies in the inability of the EU Council (the governing body of the EU) to make decisions that are sensible. Fritz Scharpf called this a Joint Decision Trap. It runs through the entire operations of the EU, and produces some horrendous decisions, of which the latest concerning the Ukraine is a blunder that eclipses all others in both its scale of empire-building, its cost in lives and its economical price.

It might not have gone so far had not the USA entered the bidding with the $15 billion offer to add to the $5 billions the EU is throwing at Ukraine. So  this $20 billions is for what? It can hardly be to fund the creation of an association between the EU and Ukraine? But this is only the start, see this more detailed analysis. Why give such astronomical sums to a country that is chronically on the verge of bankruptcy? It can only be a way to tempt the minority administration of the Ukraine that threw out the legitimately elected government of 2010 to go even further and join the EU. I can see no other explanation. It also continues a tradition of stealth, secrecy and dishonesty that began in the interwar years as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard explained in 1990.

Funnily enough another Telegraph piece on Barosso boasting about his very own European Empire (and even calling it an Empire!) was pointed out to me the other day in an Open Europe blog discussion. Published in 2007 it shows the breathtaking arrogance of our rulers in Brussels. The vast sums of our money being spent on this ambition, including now a loan/grants package of  USD 1,500 billions is already deeply resented by many who believe that more is needed to be spent on hospitals, elderly care, schools, and railways. Swedes are very aware of the cutbacks in spending on such issues.

In Dagens Nyheter, 7 March 2014, there is a growing realisation that in the Transparency International statistics 2013 the Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe. DN. Debatt in its 7 March issue p. 6 by Henrik Hallgren, founder and chair of Eurasia Forum, and Hanna Söderbaum, Ukraine researcher at the Economic-History Centre for Russian Studies at Uppsala University explain that 5 “Ukrainian Oligarchs once more come to the fore on Ukraine’s power stage.” The Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine has a historic association with a Welsh businessman, John Hughes. Anyone interested in this aspect should find the Donetsk Oblast website fascinating to read. For our purposes today we might note that the Ukrainian oligarch who is now responsible for Donetsk is Serhiy Taruta, Russian speaking Ukrainian who is in the top 500 richest people in the world, according to Forbes.

Apart from the Crimea, which is at the centre of attention for now, the Donetsk is a potential flash point, sharing a border with Donetsk in Russia, less than 400 km by road to Volgograd, World War II Stalingrad. The Empire ambitions of the EU Commissars are not exactly modest. They must have known that Russia could not sit back and do nothing.

So the two flashpoints to watch are the Donetsk and the Crimea. The Crimea referendum is to be held on 16 March.

There is much more, but finally it is necessary to return to the EU, the ramshackle empire, the rulers of which find it so hard to make decisions. As usual the Council of Ministers is divided, so the EU cannot – or will not – follow the US on sanctions, despite the universal condemnation of Russia by the Council of Ministers. Too many individual countries have vested interests in Russian gas. See the analysis by Annika Ström Melin (Dagens Nyheter 7 March, pp. 18-19).

So Fritz Scharpf’s Joint Decision Trap strikes yet again, as it almost always does. And the best is that the more member states there are the harder it will become for the Council of Ministers to make a decision. That at least should benefit and improve the chances of peace in what has once again become “War-torn Europe” as part of a US-EU alignment that in effect brings back the full-blown Cold War era into international politics.

Apart from Great Power Politics, the other factor that is less mentioned in the media is the European Union, which triggered the whole bizarre sequence of events by offering Ukraine an association agreement first to Yulia Tymoshenko until she was defeated in an internationally judged fair election by Viktor Yanukovych. President Yanukovych kept Russia’s President Vladimir Putin informed to ensure that the existing complex series of agreements between Ukraine and Russia were safeguarded, especially concerning the crucial Russian naval base of Sevastopol. At this point, news of the association agreement became widely known in Ukraine.

But what exactly is this agreement? The text begins like this: “The EU is seeking an increasingly close relationship with Ukraine that goes beyond mere bilateral cooperation, encompassing gradual progress towards political association and economic integration.” ( The suggestion being made by the eurocrats is that an association agreement is the start of the application to join the EU. The Ukrainians certainly did understand this as a reference to ultimate membership of the EU. So unsurprisingly, European Union Flags began to appear among demonstrators at Kiev’s Independence Square. The square began to be renamed Euromaidan. President Yanukovych ordered riot police to dispel the demonstrators, there are deaths and a putsch is engineered in favour of Oleksandr Turchynov, a close associate of  Yulia Tymoshenko to depose Yanukovych, who is charged with mass murder, while Tymoshenko is freed. Tymoshenko was the most amenable to the association agreement, and she was always the EU’s preference for President of Ukraine. Not that who is President of another country should be any business of the eurocrats…

At this point Yanukovych panicked and fled to Eastern Ukraine and from there to Russia. He might have done better to stay and be imprisoned while awaiting trial. He refused and still refuses to resign as President and declares the new order as illegal. Putin does not accept the putsch either, and begins to implement plans to take over Crimea, and amassing troops on Ukraine’s eastern borders should the Ukraine Donetsk Oblast, with its large Russian population also grow restless in response to threats to remove Russian as a formal language in Ukraine.

After a pause of only one generation we are back in the Cold War era.

See also: This post is very interesting and if Word Press made it easier to reblog google blog posts, I would have done so. For information on the author see by Marina Lewycka

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