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Ukrainian businessman warns of unpredictable consequences of EU agreement

September 20, 2013, 13:08 UTC+3
Until fairly recently, Ukraine existed amidst a geopolitical reality where the West and Russia were moving towards identical strategic goals
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YALTA, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine is facing a really tough choice along the way to signing an agreement on association with the EU and the consequences of that choice are scarcely possible to figure out, believes Viktor Pinchuk, a major Ukrainian businessman and organizer of the Yalta European Strategy /YES/ forum opening Friday.

“I’ve always been dreaming about a Ukraine taking over everything that’s best and newest both in Russia and in Europe,” Pinchuk said. “Annual meetings in the YES format have always furnished us with an opportunity to find new people and to establish new ties for this purpose.”

Until fairly recently, Ukraine existed amidst a geopolitical reality where the West and Russia were moving towards identical strategic goals and the independent East-European nations - and Ukraine in particular - could keep up good relations with both sides, he said in an interview with Korrespondent, an influential Ukrainian magazine.

“But everything is changing right in front of our eyes,” Pinchuk went on. “I’ve never found it acceptable for Ukraine to choose between either Russia or Europe or to give up one of the two civilizational paths in favor of the other one.”

He indicated that the whole story is bigger than the possible losses and upheavals in the economy.

“The Russian authorities’ reaction to a possible signing of the agreement with the EU shows the significances that Russia attaches to an allied, if not fraternal Ukraine, and if the Europeanization of our country occurs at this expense of this psychological bond, then the decision may become a borderline between the before and after,” Pinchuk said.

“In this case, drastic complications with arise in Ukraine’s relations not only with Russia but with Europe, too and I’m getting increasingly concerned about it,” he said.

“That’s why I’m looking forward to discussions and a search for solutions at the annual Yalta meeting with as much hope as never before, although I’m a dedicated supporter of a successful broad Europe,” Pinchuk said.

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