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EU Should Slow Down Ukraine Discussions Amid Donbass Conflict

© Flickr / Viktor KovalenkoEU Should Slow Down Ukraine Discussions Amid Donbass Conflict
EU Should Slow Down Ukraine Discussions Amid Donbass Conflict - Sputnik International
The European Union should take a step back and slow down on its efforts to "pull Ukraine into the EU" if it is serious about working towards peace in the country, according German journalist and activist Christoph Horstel.

Mr Horstel says that he will be keeping a close eye on talks between EU and Ukrainian officials, noting that many people are questioning the West’s commitment to speeding up the peace process in Ukraine’s war-torn east.

"One thing the EU could do in this regards is to slow down the efforts to pull Ukraine into the EU. That is what we haven’t seen yet; for the EU to slow down and let the political situation ease up first."

His comments come amid the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev, where Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is meeting with European officials to discuss relations between the two parties, following the signing of an association deal late last year.

Jan Oberg, director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, agreed with Mr Horstel that trying to strengthen ties between the EU and Ukraine was counter-productive given current circumstances.

"Any attempt to pull Ukraine into NATO or another alliance is wrong," Oberg said in reference to a suggestion that a European peacekeeping mission may be sent to the country.

"The EU contributed to the whole crisis by requiring Ukraine either to join the EU or to join the economic community with Russia, Kazakhstan etc. I think they should be a member of both — if the people want to," Oberg added.

Brussels Getting Fed Up With Kiev’s Requests?

It’s thought the summit may feature a list of reform requirements from Brussels to Kiev and there’s speculation some EU officials don’t agree with certain policies of the Ukrainian government.

Meanwhile the talks also come amid further reports some EU officials have expressed concern over Ukraine’s actions in fulfilling elements of the Minsk peace agreement.

Jan Oberg notes that some EU officials and national leaders may be starting to feel concerned about the time it is taking for Ukraine to implement a number of economic reforms, particularly in light of Kiev’s requests for European assistance.

"There are requests for different types of help from Poroshenko. And so now they are saying: 'Well my friend and what are you doing yourself'?"

Western Media Is 'Pro-NATO Propaganda Machine'

In the lead up to the summit, Christoph Horstel says he has been very concerned with the reporting of Ukraine and Russia-related issues in Germany and other European countries, saying that Western media was acting like a "pro-NATO propaganda machine," filled with anti-Russian rhetoric.

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He cites what he describes as the "usual bickering" between officials from either sides in the lead up to talks, while also noting how some German newspapers were running stories suggesting Russia was complicit in the downing of flight MH17 in the lead up to the EU-Ukraine summit.

"My analyses of the prospects for peace or better coordination or communication with Moscow are a little bit dimmed by this kind of reporting."

Mr Horstel also believes that Ukraine’s stronger ties with the EU will be bad news for Brussels, telling Sputnik that "nothing good will come out of this for the EU with this contract."

"Mr Poroshenko is part of this unhappy earning of money by big-shots and that is a very sad story indeed."


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