EU trying to pressure Ukraine, and so is Russia

Viktor Yanukovich


The second biggest country in Europe, Ukraine, is being pressured to choose sides between the supporters of the European Union and Russia’s Eurasian Union:

November 28, 2013

VILNIUS — The European Union told Ukraine on Thursday its rejection of a free-trade deal in favor of closer ties with Russia would risk its economic future…EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele warned Ukraine that its decision to walk away from the agreement could imperil its future.

Disputing Ukraine’s figures for the cost of upgrading its economic base to European standards, Fuele said: “The Ukrainian economy needs huge investments but these are not costs. They represent future income, more growth, more jobs and more wealth.”

“The only costs that I can see are the costs of inaction allowing more stagnation of the economy and risking the economic future and health of the country,” he told a business forum in Vilnius, adding that the EU offer remained on the table.

Yanukovich himself set the scene for a frosty encounter by dismissing the EU’s trade offer as “humiliating”. The 600 million euros ($800 million), or so, of support on offer was “candy in a pretty wrapper”, he said.

But his presence at the EU gathering – without signing the agreement – indicates he does not want to burn his bridges with the EU and leave his country’s economic future solely to Russia. His government says the suspension of the deal with the EU marks only a “pause” in moves to integrate Ukraine into the European mainstream.

He has accepted short-term support from Moscow, which supplies Ukraine half of its gas needs, without committing to Russia’s Customs Union with Kazakhstan and Belarus, and all the while keeping the EU within reach.

Defending Kiev’s decision, First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov told the Vilnius forum: “The country cannot be ready for such serious decision (to sign) if the social-economic situation is not balanced.”

“No about-face has taken place. We are confidently moving towards an aim which we have set. Ukrainians need Europe and the European path is the only one for us,” he said.

Eye on the prize

The EU will still go ahead with initialing political association agreements with two other ex-Soviet republics, Georgia and Moldova, putting them on track to sign formally in around a year. A visa agreement with Azerbaijan will also be signed.

Belarus and Armenia will also attend the summit, though there seems little prospect of their moving closer to the EU. Belarus is a member of the Russia-led Customs union, which Armenia has also opted to join.

But the biggest prize in the Eastern Partnership was always Ukraine, a vast country of 46 million people that borders four EU member states, and it will be something of an elephant in the room during the dinner on Thursday night.

EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron, will hold a pre-dinner meeting in Vilnius to work out how to handle the situation with Yanukovich, officials said.

Under pressure from Russia, Ukraine turns East

But if Ukraine, long divided between East and West, fails to draw closer to Europe, it will not only be a setback for the European Union, which has pressed for years to bring Ukraine into a formal alliance. It’s also a crushing disappointment to millions of Ukrainians…Granted, the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, faced a difficult calculus. Signing up for association with the E.U., and the possibility of full membership down the road, offered the prospect of modernization, investments and, probably, a major economic aid package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). On the other hand, the IMF deal would have compelled Mr. Yanukovych to adopt a punishing austerity program that could have complicated his reelection in 2015…In the end, the decisive factor for Ukraine appeared to be Russian blackmail. Among other sanctions, Moscow threatened to cut off imports from companies in eastern Ukraine, which relies heavily on Russian markets.

Vilnius summit: Ukraine and the Russian factor…the intrigue around the signing of the association agreement (AA) between Ukraine and the EU reaches its peak.  The Ukrainian government has announced its decision to suspend preparations for the AA’s signature due to the need to mitigate economic risks for the country, especially in the context of Russia’s position. At the same time, in a TV statement, President Viktor Yanukovych told his compatriots that “nothing will force Ukraine to turn from the way of integration to the European Union”.

The main risk for Ukraine in signing the AA is a sharp decline in economic relations and trade with Russia, which could lead to extremely serious consequences for the Ukrainian economy. The EU is not prepared to provide compensation for such losses, offering in exchange only partial financing for the conduction of reforms at the level of €600-€800 million. Moreover, European experts claim that the economic situation in the EU does not allow it to allocate considerable finances to Ukraine.

The risk of sharp deterioration of economy of Ukraine remains key for the president and the government, who will be compelled to look for financial assistance in Russia, China or private funds in case of a lack of financial support at acceptable conditions from the EU, the International Monetary Fund or the European Bank for Recontruction and Development.

The potential deal between the EU and Ukraine is not over yet.  Scheduled talks are to go on today and tomorrow.  And there could also be other ones.

As I have mentioned before, Ukraine is in a tough spot. It would like to be part of the EU as well as part of Russia’s Eurasian Union. But since it cannot (by treaty arrangements if it is a full EU member) be part of both, it seems to be playing both sides. Some believe that Ukraine really wants to be in the EU, hence will change.

Some Background on possible origins

It has been suggested that the Ukrainians descended from the Medes.  The Medes are mentioned in the Old Testament in 2 Kings 17:6, the Book of Daniel, as well as Esther, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.  In the New Testament, they are mentioned in Acts 2:9.

In the first century, Josephus wrote:

Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that, beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus, they proceeded along Asia…they called the nations by their own names…Now as to Javan and Madai, the sons of Japhet; from Madai came the Madeans, who are called Medes, by the Greeks… Thobel founded the Thobelites, who are now called Iberes; and the Mosocheni were founded by Mosoch…And so many were the countries that had the children of Japhet for their inhabitants. (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. VI, 1).

Those in the Ukraine seem to have some ties to the Medes. It may be of interest to note that the nation of Georgia is made up of peoples who were called the Iberes above.

Notice also:

Herodotus wrote that the Medes were beginning to settle in the Ukraine even in his time. He main-tained that there were people who ‘dressed in Median fashion’ that live ‘north of Thrace . . . beyond the Danube.’ (Slytie P.  The Three Edens. Xulon Press, 2011, p. 784)

Pliny mentions “the river Don, where the inhabitants are … said to be descended from the Medes” (book 6, sec.11) (UKRAINE). (Hunt K.  The Biblical Prophets for Today. iUniverse, 2011, p. 7)

Herodotus lived in the fifth century B.C. and has been called “the father of history.”  Pliny was a first century A.D. Roman nobleman and historian.

The late John Ogwyn wrote:

The tribes who traced their descent from the ancient Medes moved a little north and west to lay claim to the rich farmland of Little Russia, the Ukraine. From Meshech and Tubal came the Great Russians, who spread north and east, eventually establishing Moscow and the principality of Muscovy. The River Moskva, named for the people of Meshech (called Mushki or Moschi anciently), gave its name to the city and principality (Ogwyn J. What’s Ahead for Russia? TW, May-June 2000).

Some of the Russians themselves appear to have been from the Medes. Notice the following account:

But how are we to explain the name Russia? The old-fashioned view was to derive the word from the Rhoxolani. This, however, has long been abandoned. One thing is certain, namely, that these Rhoxolani were of Oriental descent, a Medic or Iranic tribe. They disappear from history, having, like so many other tribes — as, for instance, the Pechenegs and the Khozars—been swallowed up by the huge waves of immigration which overflowed the country (Morfill WR. Russia. Published 1890 by T.F. Unwin, London).

There are many disputes among academics as to who derived from whom, thus it is not completely clear, for example, that the Rhoxolani were Medes who went to Russia.

However, if the Rhoxolani were Medes, then it would seem to be consistent with certain biblical prophecies.

Most of the Ukrainians are Eastern or Russian Orthodox, which makes them closer (in professed religion at least) to the Russians that the Western Europeans–though many of the Eastern Europeans have some version of the Eastern Orthodox faith.

The EU Wants to Enlarge

The European Union has demonstrated a history and willingness to enlarge.  This is also consistent with biblical prophecy.

Interestingly, as far back as the Book of Daniel, the Bible prophesied that a little horn would develop into what apparently is becoming a European entity. Actually what is now the EU began as a small organization involving three small countries located in the northern and western regions of Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, called the Benelux nations)–they then helped form the European Economic Community. Which expanded into the European Union.

Notice that, the Bible prophesied that a little horn would mainly expand South and East:

And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered (Daniel 8:9-12).

And while the above has had a past fulfillment, this prophecy seems to be dual (compare with Daniel 11:27-39). Anyway, the European Union has mainly expanded south and east of the Benelux nations. Now, approximately 500 million people are now under a new, single (though not completed united) government, called the European Union, headquartered in Brussels.  Ukraine is east of much of the EU–thus its geography is consistent with being part of the EU.

Biblically (because of prophecies involving the Medes, some of which are in Ukraine, and some in the “north and east” in Daniel 11:44), it would seem that Russia would be closer to Ukraine in the end than it appears to be right now. Yet it should also be mentioned that Bible prophecy indicates that there will be some type of cooperation between Russia and its allies and Europe for a while after the European Beast power has risen up (Revelation 13:3-4).  Being between both may mean that Ukraine will support one for a while than turn back to the other.

In the end, Bible prophecy shows that ultimately Russia and its allies (likely to include Ukraine at some point) will turn against the European Beast power–for biblical details, see Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future. Until then, we will see if Ukraine moves away from Russia and towards the EU which is what many protesters apparently want or if it will decide that it needs to move closer to Russia.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.

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