Ukraine dodges 'EU death spiral'
William Engdahl is an award-winning geopolitical analyst and strategic risk consultant whose internationally best-selling books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages. He has lectured as Visiting Professor at Beijing University of Chemical Technology and delivers talks and private seminars around the world on subjects of current importance from economics to oil geopolitics to agribusiness. A widely discussed analyst of current political and economic developments, his provocative articles and analyses have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and well-known international websites. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal and member of the editorial board of Eurasia magazine. Based in Frankfurt, Germany he may be reached via his website www.williamengdahl.com
RT:Ukraine's decision came as a surprise for many.
What triggered it?
William Engdahl: I think it’s a combination of things but ultimately it was economic pressure from Moscow. I think that had a lot to do with their decision where Ukrainian economic interests truly lie. And perhaps some of the Ukrainian business elites looked more closely at what the EU trade agreements would require of them to sacrifice and realized that it wasn’t the dream boat that they perhaps hoped for.
RT:Will they be able to strike a balance between Moscow and Brussels?
WE: I think if they are clever, I suspect that the Ukrainian political leadership has a delusional view of what the EU would bring for the Ukrainian economy. Of course they long to be accepted as a Western European nation, and so forth, since the breakup of the Soviet Union but right now the EU is in a kind of a death spiral with the false construct of the Eurozone. And the austerity package that the IMF is bringing to the periphery – Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and so forth – that is a horrendous thing.
The EU has little now to offer Ukraine and if Ukrainian business, political leaders were looking at the thing more realistically, they would concentrate on building stronger bridges to the East. Because the future of Europe, of Western Europe, not simply Ukraine, the future of Western Europe in my view lies in Eurasia in a sense of Russia, China, the Middle Eastern countries, especially Iran.
RT:But nonetheless a lot of Ukrainians have the
aspirations to be part of the EU?
WE: Well delusions are in every society. What can I say? You have a delusion that life would be better in the EU. Talk to Polish people, talk to Hungarians, talk to many of the countries who joined the EU, maybe even joined the Euro and realized it was a horror show. It destroyed their domestic industry. The EU is a construct of global multinationals and those global multinationals want to cherry-pick what is useful out of the Ukranian economy which has precious resources.
RT:Let’s talk about the main political tension at the moment and Yuliya Tymoshenko. Some members of the parliament say she could be freed to get medical treatment. What is her future then?
WE: She is a very complex case, but I think she has been made into a symbol, into a straw woman for Western and especially the US State Department pressure on Ukraine to make concessions towards the West and towards NATO. And at this point Ukraine has rethought the entire NATO option the previous presidency was so keen on and realized that it would not be the most sensible thing for Ukraine and I agree with that.
But I think Yulia Tymoshenko became a symbol and it had little to do with her actual activities. Her corruption with the gas deal she made when she was in office is well documented. She was tied in with mafia elements that made billions at the expense of Ukrainians and also the Russians. I think she was made a symbol for another agenda and that is to put pressure on Ukraine to make concessions towards the West.