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28 Nov, 2013 11:02

EU-Ukraine: Cultural divide, US ambitions and Brussels expansionism 

EU-Ukraine: Cultural divide, US ambitions and Brussels expansionism 

Whether or not Ukrainian entry to the EU is financially viable, it’s obvious that "Brussels is trying to interfere in all sorts of spheres", certainly in Russia’s sphere. 

Experts who talked to RT looked at the key issues surrounding Ukraine’s debate over entry into the EU, with the main focus on the political level and the direction the country will choose to take amid concerns of economic instability in the EU. 

Many have argued that Ukrainian entry to the EU will be too expensive for Europe. But, the founder of the Europolis think tank, Dr Markus Kerber, told RT he believes that the financial aspects of the deal are not even on the agenda yet. “Financial recommendations are certainly an important argument, but for the time being what matters most is that the Ukrainian population is split between those who have a preference for Russia and those who have a preference for the EU,” Kerber stated. 

He argues that it takes years to negotiate the right conditions for a country’s entry, even after it registers its application. “The decision to enter in such a process does not necessarily mean that the day after the country becomes a member, so for the time being and for the not too-distant future there is no financial burden for the EU,” Kerber said. 

“Nobody can quantify [the cost of Ukraine’s entry into the EU] because before such an entry becomes effective you have years of negotiation, years of adaptation and adjustment process. Take a look at the Mediterranean countries such as Portugal and Spain. It took years to negotiate the entry and it took years to find the final form in order to enter the EU,” he added. 

Protest against the decision of the Ukrainian government to suspend integration with the EU, on Independence Square in Kiev. (RIA Novosti / Pyotr Zadorozhnyi)

Independence Party MEP, Paul Nuttall, argues that Brussels is an expansionist machine that wants to include Ukraine along with many other countries, putting the burden on already existing members who are struggling to pull the weight. 

Nuttall pointed out that “12 percent of people across Europe are unemployed, 25 percent of 18-24 are also unemployed”, yet “the EU wants Ukraine to eventually join, they want Albania and Serbia to join, they even want Turkey to join. This is an expansionist organization, it wants more countries and they want Ukraine to be part of that European Union,” he told RT. 

“The expansion of this organization knows no ends. Brussels is trying to interfere in all sorts of spheres, certainly in Russia’s sphere, it wants to expand the EU,” Nuttall added.

While some believe it is purely an EU matter, author and geopolitical analyst, William Engdahl, believes that any kind of manipulation in the process on behalf of the EU is orchestrated by the US, which has been the driver for the Ukrainian-EU partnership from the beginning. 

“They tried to bring Ukraine into NATO with the Orange Revolution, which they incited back in 2003-04 and now they are trying it through the economic side of things. And the goal is to isolate Russia and make it as weak as possible as a global player,” Engdahl told RT.

He added the EU is not actually united on the issue at all. “They [EU] are very uncomfortable with the idea of Ukraine coming into the EU. The EU right now is bankrupt with the crisis in the PIGS countries. They don’t have money to do anything with Ukraine.”

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.