Ukrainian people being used as pawns by the EU and US
The people of Ukraine who want jobs and employment are being manipulated by politicians in the EU and the USA in an ‘economic land grab’ to further Western influence at all costs, Patrick Young, a political and financial commentator, tells RT.
If Ukraine joined the EU, he says, Ukrainian manufactured goods would not be competitive with those produced in the EU and nor would it be possible to export them to countries outside the EU like Russia, which would impose import duties, meaning a loss of jobs and industrial output.
RT: Let’s start with a recent development, its being reported that the US would like the EU to grant Ukrainians visa free travel as a measure of integration. What are your thoughts on that, do you think the EU would ever agree to it?
Patrick Young: This is a fascinating idea, and it demonstrates a couple of things, first of all how completely and utterly out of touch with the politics of the European Union the United States of America is, but then on the other hand, given that President Obama has invariably been looking towards Asia, we probably shouldn’t be surprised. Second of all, I think is the pure practicality. There is an incredibly powerful and emotive debate going on within Europe at the moment, particularly in the UK for instance, over the issue of migrant labor within the EU. On January 1st next year, there is the possibility that many Bulgarians and Romanians may start to move across to the west because they’ll be allowed to go and work. I think that within the European Union there would be an outrage, an outcry indeed, if suddenly the gates were to be opened because obviously millions of Ukrainians want a better life and they want a better economy but to simply let them loose on the western European economy, when it is already ravaged by inflation, by unemployment, by all sorts of problems, is going to be a huge political no-no.
RT: Let’s talk about the EU politicians for a moment because we have seen them in Kiev as well taking part in the demonstrations, people are asking why are they taking part in these demonstrations, why aren’t they actually talking with the government to see if they can strike some sort of deal?
PY: It has to be said that the extra territorial aggressive ambitions of western states, whether it’s the European Union or the USA is absolutely crazy, also though I would bear in mind another thing, which is the simple electoral cycle. MEPs are terrified that they are about to be outflanked by anti-European forces in elections in 4-5 months’ time. Therefore they’re doing anything to try and get a tinge of popularity and of course the way they do that in the socialist European super state of the EU is try and be seen around liberal demonstrators at all times, because it kind of inflates their credentials of looking like hippy liberals. The truth is, they have no coherent concept of why or what they could do with Ukraine. And in-fact the worst thing that could happen in many senses in that Ukraine now signs this economic deal, because if it did allow free movement of labor it would be chaos for Europe. As usual the European Union, a super state of humbug and hypocrisy.
RT: But there must be some benefit surely because this is something that has been considered by Ukraine for some time now. Now OK, it’s decided to go the other way, but surely there must be some benefits?
PY: Absolutely, let’s look at two things. First of all, do the people protesting in Kiev today have a reasonable understanding and a realistic idea of what they want in their future? Well in one sense they do. They want jobs, they want employment, they want a fair reasonable organized state. The difficulty is, will they get that delivered to them by simply becoming supplicant to the European Union. And the problem with that is ‘no’, because if we look to the east of Ukraine, we arrive at the famous city of Donetsk, founded by a Welshman in 1869, a hub of industry. It happens to be the political capital also for Mr. Yakukovich, the president, but more importantly look at what goes on in places like Donetsk. There, they build fridges; they build all sorts of mechanical equipment. What do they do with it? They export it to places like Russia, Turkey and actually outside the EU entirely. The difficulty is, with a free association agreement, with this free trade pact, which is being proposed, suddenly these exports would be entirely uncompetitive in terms of going to Russia or other countries, and indeed they wouldn’t be competitive with cheaper western imports. In that respect the EU has tried to make an economic land grab to essentially have a leveraged buyout of the Ukrainian economy, and in the long term that is not what anybody should really be looking for.
RT: Now, interestingly, this debate has gone beyond the EU borders because America has got involved, we’ve heard from the US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, just this week, saying that an EU association would bring Ukraine back to economic health. Why do we have this involvement from America do you think?
PY: Well, of course when you’ve got a situation where the mayor of Toronto in Canada has been found smoking crack cocaine and he’s twice as popular in opinion polls locally as the US president is nationally in the United States of America, you have of course the fundamental reason why again in the political cycle the Obama government is discredited. They cannot implement health care, they have managed to have a string of failures in foreign policy, now what they’ve gone to, is they’ve gone back to the old neocon model of regime change one point zero. And that is absolutely disgraceful because we of course had great hope, the happy change thing of Obama has now become a myth and ultimately the terrible tragedy is that the people of Ukraine, the innocent, reasonable people who want to work for a better life, have become pawns in an extra-terrestrial supra national game, being led by the European Union and the USA in order to try and make it look to their domestic constituencies as if they’re capable of doing something in foreign policy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.