The session of the Scientific Council of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine took place on November 5, 2002. The participants discussed the issue of "Geopolitical Aspects of the European Integration of Ukraine". Now we publish the minutes of the discussion.
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A. Zlenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: During the independence the idea of the European integration has undergone tangible transformations. I remember first months of independence when this idea was forwarded and very emotionally discussed. At that time we seemed to have dotted our "i's" and crossed our "t's" in a sense that everything depended only on us, Ukrainians, on the success of the political and economical reforms and on how fast Ukraine would change. With time we all came to understand that our internal transformations prove really a key problem and the only factor affecting future development of the Ukrainian state. It is not only the subject, but also the object of political game on the international arena, the game where one can win only regarding all political tendencies, all existing explicit and implicit trends. Of course, we should take them into consideration and the European integration makes this even more evident.
Our state is situated between two powerful geopolitical magnets, which cannot but influence it. Mutual relations between these two magnets are permanently varying. We witness complex and dynamic development in relations between the United States and Russia, Russia and the EU, the EU and the United States. These relations have direct and indirect impact on Ukraine. We should be absolutely sensible and fair in answering a number of questions as to what extent the geopolitical environment in Europe will be favorable for Ukraine in the next years. And this is a complicated prediction. It is necessary to imagine a degree of impact of the rapprochement of the United States and Russia, we are observing, on the European integration of Ukraine, then to evaluate whether the foreign policy of Russia will create more favorable conditions for Ukraine as a European partner and above all to identify our actions and strategy for the nearest years. Being on the geopolitical border we have consciously made a choice towards the EU seeing it as our potential ally. But what is to be done that the EU will treat us correspondingly? Until now we have no clear answer to the key question of the European integration of Ukraine, and the road from Kyiv to Brussels should be two-way.
I could continue the list of questions, which are still open and maybe today we will manage to approach the answers to these
questions. Not to all of them but at least to some of them, because we really need them, badly need them. Doors to the EU are open to us and meanwhile the arguments we have will depend upon where we stand. Allegation made by J. Solana stating that Ukraine is not approaching the EU but moving away from it (he then apologized for these words attributing them to poor English language skills etc.) was heard, taken up and is now being interpreted differently. I will continue later but now I would like to give floor to honorable Anatoly Halchynsky.
A. Halchynsky, Doctor of Economy, Prof., Advisor to the President of Ukraine, Director of the National Institute of Strategic Research under the President's Administration: My dear colleagues, first of all, I would like to express my gratitude for a great honor to take part in the work of such high-rank assembly and to ask for your understanding of some imperiousness in conclusions presented in the headings of my report. I am aware that this is not a language of diplomacy but this is the way I have chosen to draw your attention to certain tendencies, which to my opinion, have not yet been fully developed but need to be decided since they are extremely important. I will expand the idea about the complexity of our way mentioned by A. Zlenko. It is important that foreign policy of Ukraine, especially its European integration course, which has no alternative, will to the extent possible take into account current processes in the world. However, this is exactly the point of objective complexities. More than 10 years passed since the end of the "cold war", however the trend the world is developing and the way of this development is not fully comprehended yet. On the one hand, we are talking about a decisive tendency of the world development-deepening of globalization, on the other, we observe all signs of its subsidence, a crise of globalization process. However, this is a disputable issue, which needs a comprehensive investigation.
The other problem is to what extent real the transformation from one-person hegemony to multipolar world is and which structure of the multipolar world will form the basis of new integration centers in perspective. Will a prediction of the well- known American scientist Samuel Huntington stating that the civilization feature will underlie the new integration processes and that the 21st century will be marked by collision of civilization come true? Again a number of questions arise in this connection. For example, is it correct to say that the western civilization is devided into American and European with corresponding geopolitical consequences for Ukraine? Are these true statements that Russia is an independent unit and that Russian and European civilizations are two different phenomena and that Russia is a center of Eurasian civilization? What is the position of Ukraine in this case? These questions are not at all abstract for us.
To my mind, we lack a clear understanding of more specific problems related to the European choice, in particular concerning the EU development prospects. We have not fully comprehended now these prospects and do not have a clear idea what the Great Europe is. I think, though I am not an expert in this sphere, that NATO position is also indefinite. Some people say that NATO is dying because this organization is not adjusted to fight terrorism. The USA is showing today its inclination to individual not to collective actions and is collaborating more with Russian than with its Alliance allies.
One can also speak about contradictions in the WTO. On the one hand, this competent world organization, which we are striving to join, is aimed at facilitation of foreign trade, on the other, we are stating the evident fact of its excessiveness. Not all of us know that in the last 30-40 years the increasing rates of foreign trade volumes have been essentially exceeding the world GDP growth. Usually, this process cannot last long.
I dare say, that we have a rather vague idea about economical validity of the European
integration course of Ukraine. Still this is only a political-psychological project where many positions are developed on mechanical extrapolation of processes taking place in the Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time we must understand, and this has been repeatedly emphasized by the President, that it is dangerous to blindly duplicate any foreign model including European integration policy, in particular that of Poland and the Baltics. We must see not only positive but also negative features of this process. It is important to see that expansion of the EU generates a very familiar "younger brother" problem. Innovation development in these countries is hindered, which in fact is manifested by degradation of respective innovation mechanisms. Many problems concern social structure of these countries. These problems are very urgent today and not always successfully resolved.
Agrarian problems are well known. Recently I came across very characteristic figures. Subsidies to farmers in France amount to €5.8 bn, in Germany - 3.6 while new member state will receive from 2004 till 2007 only 25% of the amount received by farmers of the current structure of the EU, in 2007-40% and +10% annually in the period to 2013. Considering that 25% of population in Poland are farmers and that a large share of population in the Baltics are also engaged in agricultural production one can easily understand how acute this problem is. Actually, during the decade from 2004 till 2013 until the corresponding parameters become equal the countries will preserve the status of the "younger brother" in the agrarian sphere. I think that the member states of the first wave agreed to this status. This problem at least deserves to be paid attention to because assuming that today we are accepted to the EU this status will probably be even more severe for us.
A problem of time lag is also extremely acute. I feel that we must be more realistic in defining the time of possible joining the EU. I am absolutely sure that no improvisation is accepted as to duration of this period since this is a problem of stages, principles and mechanisms of not only domestic but also foreign policy. The decade that we are all striving for is one thing but the period of 20-30 years is different. A responsible policy cannot ignore this possibility. This is really contradictory and is not in favor of Ukraine when someone from governmental officials claims that tomorrow we will join WTO while the USA at the same time rejects the status of Ukraine as the state with market economy for an indefinite period. I think that when Ukraine is requested to wait this concerns not only our internal processes and political precautions towards our domestic policy. In this case we seem to exaggerate the problem and disregard a number of issues related to expansion of the EU. After the fall of the Berlin Wall the prospects of the EU were in fact reduced to two alternatives: on the one hand, deepening of the integration process, on the other, expansion of the integration zone. The EU faced the problem of further deepening of integration process though there are projects of federal structure, joint constitution, single president and others. However, this is a remote perspective and the new EU strategy formed in the early 1990s prioritizes expansion of the integration zone.
This is absolutely a new problem for the EU. This problem is very important and should be resolved, to my opinion, in the context of motion from one-person hegemony to multipolar world. Expansion of the European integration zone is an attempt to provide strengthening of geopolitical self-sufficiency of the EU and protection against a dominating influence of the USA. In this context the membership of Ukraine in the EU looks much more optimistic. One can trace a serious interest of the EU to attract Ukraine with its enormous potential for participation in this powerful international organization. Let us look at the term: unification of the first and second waves will last until 2010 + questionable Turkey. This is fourth, seventh and tenth years of the first decade. Five-ten years
are the adaptation periods for the EU. Only after this period the situation may develop in favor of positive decision as to acceptance of Ukraine to the EU. This is not ten years all of us hope for to create necessary prerequisites but 15-20 years. This is optimal and most optimistic variant.
The EU Commissioner on the EU Expansion was almost right stating in Salzburg in presence of our President that for the next 15-20 years and even more the issue of Ukrainian membership in the EU will not be urgent. Though I would prefer the situation to develop in a different way but one must look truth in the face and have a clear understanding of what this all means for determining the basics of domestic and foreign policy. Are there corrections needed? I guess that together with the problem of the "younger brother" this is not a tragedy for Ukraine. These are only better possibilities for restructuring domestic and foreign policy for Ukraine.
Economy comes first. We need economical policy that guarantees 5-6% growth in the nearest 10-15 years. This is a kind of survival corridor, the Ukrainian miracle that we could create. However, here we face the problem of correlation of liberal and institutional models of development. It is necessary to think over the correctness of purely liberal model we are striving for. It should be kept in mind, that, as the world experience shows, the liberal model will not allow achieving high indices (5-6% annually) of the GDP growth. The experience of the Latin America indicates this. Poland aims at achieving 1% of the GDP growth this year. The World Bank statistics shows that in the last decade only seven countries managed to achieve average annual indices of the GDP growth of about 6% and their economical models are far from liberal. I think that the Chinese model of the so-called controlled liberalization and other steps made by this country can be interesting for us. Only values of equal order that can integrate. Then we can avoid the situation of a "younger brother".
As to political reform, I would say the following. The European standards of democratization and civil society have become possible first of all on the basis of qualitative changes in the structure of the society. These changes are known to proceed in a very conservative way. Don't let us forget that women in some western countries received the right to vote only after the WWII and that until the 60s the black population of the northern states of America was deprived of the electoral rights.
It is extremely important to understand the objective basis of the society democratization and its stages including our European integration project.
Concerning institutional reform I would like to touch only one problem. We should be very careful as to the unification of effective legislation. We have our own experience in this respect. Just remember the appearance of a serious legal collision in 1992 and later when we adopted the laws of market economy without real market economy. The good laws proved not suitable to the economical realities. Such situation brings about negative consequences, such as shadow economy etc.
In the sphere of foreign policy we need to essentially enhance its diversification. The Foreign Ministry works, to my opinion, very seriously. We declare that the EU is the main vector of our strategy, that we are seriously working with Russia, China, India, Turkey, and Iran. Ukraine has broad possibilities in the Middle East. It is very important today to pursue a pragmatic policy.
And the last thing I would like to touch on. We should overcome the feeling of being "less valuable", an exaggerated dependence on our northern neighbor.
Let me mention some more economical positions. As to GDP production per capita usually two figures are compared: we have $700 and Europe-23,000, which means 30 times difference. In fact, this is not true. According to the standards of the World Bank, this correlation should consider the parity of the buying capacity. It goes about consumer's basket, namely about what you can buy for
one dollar. In this respect we have up to $4,000 per capita, which is the level of Bulgaria and Romania. Other our indices are also not so bad. We occupy the first place in the world for export of steel, the seventh - for export of weapons, we are among the first five countries possessing the latest space technologies (out of 22 basic technologies we have 17) and having the closed cycle of the aircraft industry. We are among the seven largest ship-building countries. Does the EU need it, especially with the problems of agroindustrial complex and other problems?
As to its transit capacities Ukraine occupies one of the leading positions in Europe. Look at our scientific and educational potential - coverage ratio of the university graduates is 42% in EU and 46% in Ukraine.
Some American firm recently published the data, which attracted a wide public attention: Ukraine occupies third-fourth place after USA, India and Russia as to the number of certified programmers. Or the Maastricht criteria of the European Zone - Ukraine fits them: 2% of inflation (by the projections this is the second year of 0.6%), 3% of the budget deficit (in fact for 3 years we have no budget deficit), debt of 60% GDP (we have about 40%) etc. So, if today these criteria were decisive for joining the EU we would pass the exam.
A period of our infantilism has dragged too long. We have to subdue more actively our feeling of being unfit to the EU standards, we need to propagate our possibilities also in the European integration.
O. Chaly, State Secretary on European Integration of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine: To my opinion, our European integration course for today is rather a political and psychological choice without proper economical substantiation. But even under these conditions it is decided for us. First, we would like to renovate our European identity. Second, the people of Ukraine do not want to live in the empire and want to get out of the Eurasian gravity. Even the latest events in Moscow... Yesterday the interview of the Ukrainian citizen was on the air and she said that she is happy to live in the country not involved into military conflicts. I would say, this is the reason we want to joint Europe. Even with the syndrome of the "elder brother" there will be just elder and younger brothers. Europe does not build its future by the empire model. This distinguishes it from future American civilization and Eurasian civilization with Russia as the key element. We have this imprinted in our subconsciousness. To my opinion, this is one of the elements of the Ukrainian idea-we are striving for renovation of our European identity and want to separate from the empire. European integration course is the most effective guaranty of our independence during the nearest 10-15 years. Talking about geopolitical aspects of the European integration course let us look at it in the global context. Its prospects cannot be separated from the prospects of the relations with USA, China, Russia, and EU. It should be understood that Ukraine is an essential element, which may change the balance and configuration of these forces. If Ukraine joins the EU, this will change relations between the EU and Russia and in certain sense this will be beneficial for China. For example, I do not know today the answer to the question: Is the integration of Ukraine into Europe strategically beneficial to the USA in view of the renovation of the strategic US- Russia partnership and the fact that the USA are getting ready for the Chinese challenge? At least the answer is not so straight today as before 9/11. Do they need the weakened Russia or the stronger? Aren't certain political circles in the USA cherishing plans on reintegration of Ukraine into Russia as a counterbalance to the EU?
By this I just want to emphasize that European integration of Ukraine should be considered in the context of global policy and not only in line of Russia - EU - Ukraine. Analysis of the obstacles on the way of our European integration suggests the following conclusions:
These are the problems the EU itself is facing and the previous speaker has characterized them. In fact the history of the EU expansion has not yet been completed and no one knows what will come of it. Decision making on further expansion requires political resource, which they lack.
Russia is another factor strongly influencing Brussels. Russia is in the period of consolidation positioning itself as a great state, the powerful state in fact. So after 9/11 when the USA put an emphasis on the Russian-American relations underlain by resource aspect Europe felt some jealous. Today Russia is in the situation when there is a certain competition between Europe and USA for Russia, especially for control over energy resources. It may be not by chance that Europe is very cautious lately in relations with Ukraine concerning integration. Maybe they expect the response from Russia, which in fact is a new element in the situation as I see it. Just put yourself in the place of the EU. What is better for the EU to have between Russia and Eurasian union-a common frontier or some buffer state? The same question is relevant for Turkey. Concerning Turkey Europe is deciding if it is ready to establish its frontier by the unstable arc of the Moslem world and Europe or it is better to have a number of states tending to Europe and separating it from this world.
Another reason why Europe does not give a proper signal is in us. There are no internal changes in Ukraine yet, first of all in a political sphere. There is no transformation of the political system towards pluralistic European democracy and social economical model. Europe cannot accept the state with such a high level of corruption. We are often reproached lately for a big gap between the wealthy and the poor population strata, which in fact rather Latin American than European model of development. Therefore, we need to change ourselves - that is one of the main indices of our European integration.
As to the problem of term, I am not so pessimistic as Mr. Anatoly Halchynsky. That commissioner in Salzburg just said that they would return to the Ukrainian issue in 15-20 years and we are talking about the moment when we will get a signal on the possibility of our integration when the engagement will take place. We are talking about the time when we can sign an agreement on association or make another step, which will allow us to seek for membership. I have an opinion that under certain conditions the year 2007 is absolutely real for concluding the agreement on association or a similar document. Then the situation will change. How much time will pass till our acceptance to the EU is another issue. The main thing is to get a signal that we belong to this system and the system is ready to protect us considering us as their own.
In the heads that I circulated there is an interesting moment - we are trying to project possible models of economical integration of Ukraine to the EU. It means that we are saying that this is a possible model for getting membership, creation of a single market of commodities, services and labor by entering the European economical zone. The same is with Norway having bilateral sectoral agreements and with Switzerland, which actually is integrated into the EU. Creation of the customs union with the EU is in the same dimension. Therefore, integration with the EU may have different forms and the membership is not an obligatory condition. Moreover, in the program "European Choice" we stated that by 2011 we would create conditions for getting a membership. We are talking about economical models of integration but we also need to develop political models of integration. What forms for political attraction of Ukraine and its geopolitical existence in view that a membership is not obligatory can be, that would allow us to continue the course of integration and to be viewed by the European community as the country potentially recognized as the future equal member of the EU? There is a form when the membership is not obligatory, to my mind. When Mr. Halchynsky
says that today we have to proceed from the policy of tough protection of our national interests under conditions when we declared our course for integration to the EU and NATO, under conditions when we are not hearing a signal in response, a very serious question arises: can we, as Halchynsky proposes, give priority to the EU, its values and its policy with the clash of our interests with the EU and the USA, the EU and Russia? Again I am repeating is it worth doing in conditions when we have no signal from the EU as to whether our integration is possible in principle? Shall we sacrifice some of our specific interests to this expectation?
I would like, just as an example, to refer to the incident in Macedonia, which affected our relations with the EU. Supplying weapons to this country we did everything in the right way, we did not violate any effective international laws. I am quite sure that without our supplies situation in Macedonia would cause a more severe headache for the EU, to say the least.
First, we did not give a full explanation of our policy. Second, when we were told: "Sorry, but we haven't expected you going this way." And we asked: "Why?" The answer was that we should coordinate our policy in Macedonia with the policy of the EU. But you are not ready to associate us with you, you refuse us in the agreement on the associate membership.
So, every time there is a situation when they want to get more from us, especially to their strategic sectors, and to make us more associate but at the same time the final political signal is not given. A decision made at the summit in Seville well illustrates the situation. We did not ask the mandate for peace-making forces for us specifically. However since it is beneficial for them to have Ukrainian soldiers in the hot spots of Europe they gave this mandate to us by their own initiative. It means that they are ready to associate us when it is beneficial for them. However the question of our pragmatic goal arises - are we ready to accept it without receiving a general signal?
This is an urgent problem facing our foreign policy. Sometime we have to make difficult decisions. Here are some examples, such as ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, accession of the International Criminal Court, signing the agreement with the Americans which in fact reduces this Court to zero or further destiny of the gas transportation system. All the time we are making decisions, today these decisions covering three coordinates-Russia, the EU and the USA. We are ready to make decisions to the benefit of the EU, but sometimes we receive more attractive proposals from other partners. Here the question arises: shall we pay for the lunch that will come tomorrow?
These are my thoughts that I wanted to share with you. As to the question put by Mr. Halchynsky, my answer is that next years will be positive for our European integration course. Relations of the USA and Russia have a dual impact on us. On the one hand, normal relations between these two countries create for us possibilities for European integration. On the other, nobody knows the future geopolitical situation of the United States.
Is the new course of the RF good or bad for us? It is European by definition and in this sense it is good. However, it is very pragmatic in the context of building of the Great Russia, so the Eurasian Union for us is the reality we have to take into consideration. What are our next steps? They are, to my opinion, in the domain of the internal policy. The main task for the next two years will be to preserve the European integration course in view of the attempts to place us in isolation.
L. LESCHENKO, Doctor of History, Prof., Senior Researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the NAS of Ukraine: We hush up the fact that every month the position of Ukraine at the international arena becomes more complicated. This is the reality we have to recognize and consider. It is necessary to know the reasons behind it and have a sound idea of what should be done to stop this negative
process and turn the situation in the positive course. I like the statement of Mr. Chaly that we do not want to get back to empire and that Ukraine needs to implement its European integration course in a certain period. This is very important and depends on what we will do in our home policy. This is the first. Second, we very often mention China. It is time now not to talk about this country, but to study the model of its development and to borrow the ideas that can be suitable in our home and foreign policy. Chinese are known for their consistency, stability and responsibility. We can predict their behavior in certain issues. Sharp changes and quick turns are not typical for their foreign policy. As to their home policy, it can be thoroughly studied in the academic circles to summarize the experience of their economical development and to borrow some ideas. I have some rather heretic idea. Ukraine is located between two geopolitical poles and as soon as we turn to one side the other shows a pained reaction to it. In this situation we can be closer to China. This is the country of future, which will never claim the territory of Ukraine, its military bases. China wants to collaborate with us and this orientation will not be contradictory to our European choice.
V. BRUZ, Doctor of History, Professor of the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine under the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine: We have heard very interesting presentations. Not everything may be fully agreed upon, but we need to make certain corrections in our attitude and evaluation of the Euro-Atlantic integration. The debates in the Verkhovna Rada have shown that there is no unanimous standpoint on this issue. There are many aspects to it. I would like you to pay attention to some of them. We have some slipshods in the theory of European integration and in the theory of our foreign policy. So, what did our MPs determine? I think that their understanding of the contents of the European integration course and tasks of foreign policy for its provision is somewhat obscure. Some of them reduce this course only to tasks in the sphere of collaboration with the EU. The European choice is replaced by the notion "Euro- Atlantic vector of foreign policy". With this approach all foreign policy activities do not agree with the context of the Euro-Atlantic integration.
A concept of single-vector foreign policy has been developed. Multi-vector approach of the policy is interpreted as an absence of principles. In reality there is noting vicious in this: the number of partners corresponds to the number of vectors. We need urgently to explane and popularize the essence of the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and the ways to make it. The European vector alone cannot provide integration. The Euro-Atlantic integration means adaptation of the state to the norms of development and orientation to the western model of development. This is wider than just European integration. This does not mean that the whole policy must be one- vector. Implementation of the European choice of Ukraine requires a wider collaboration with a number of countries. Development of relations with Russia and China fosters creation of prerequisites for European integration. Historical choice of development must be single and foreign policy - multi-vector. It is not appropriate to be obsessed by the European vector. It is necessary to develop our relations with all vectors.
Another problem consists in transition from the course for permanent neutrality and freedom from membership in block to the course for European integration and collective security. This is a complicated problem and the debates in the Parliament have shown that there is no unanimity in views of the MPs on this problem. Ukraine is still a state with no accession to any blocks because the Declaration of the State Sovereignty has not been abolished. So, legally Ukraine has no right to become the member of NATO and the EU. This problem is complicated and has not been thoroughly investigated. It is important to finalize the basis of the new foreign policy.
A. FILIPENKO, Doctor of Economy, Prof., Advisor to the President of Ukraine, Head of
the Chair of the Institute of International Relations of the Taras Shevchenko National University: It is evident that transformations of the internal system should become a priority at this stage of development. You remember that the President in his Address to the Parliament said that this is not just an action aimed at joining the EU, this is the beginning of internal transformations. We should concentrate our efforts on this direction and provide qualitatively new system transformations. The current social- economical model has been fully exhausted since the tasks it was developed for have been fulfilled and now, as professor Halchynsky said, a new wave of internal reforms is starting. By implementing this reform we will Europeanize our economy and society. When we are talking with Germans they say: "Geographically you are in Europe, we recognize this. And what about policy and economy? Are you Europeans or not?" There is no straight answer to it. I think the Europeanization of our economy and society is a real step, which would automatically decide the European-Atlantic course. I would like to point out important structural reforms, some of which need to be implemented and some are under implementation and not yet completed.
First comes restructuring of the economy. Currently its structure is archaic and does not at all correspond to the European dimensions. Today it was already mentioned and I absolutely agree that only structures similar or approaching in quality may integrate. We cannot complement now the European economical structures. We will stay separately and will not be able to smoothly enter the European space. A model of sectoral agreements would be most attractive for us. Just remember the European Association of Coal and Steel, which started from the same model. Then the Rome Treaties of 1957 were signed. This is the direction we should choose. We have 18 progressive technologies and with them we should join the EU. It is unreal to talk about customs union and about the free trade zone, but these are stages to pass. First comes partial customs union, then free trade, then customs union in full and finally common market.
Administrative reform is another serious problem of structural adjustment, which has not been completed. Besides, the administrative-territorial reform in the European context is needed.
A. DOVHERT, Doctor of Law, Prof., Head of the Chair of the Institute of International Relations of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University: I fully agree with the previous speakers that we really need to join Europe. I think that we will not be able to entrench ourselves by our home transformations as it was proposed. Trotsky once said, "Neither war, nor peace." We cannot act like this. It is time to make a choice and the choice will be European. The statement we heard today on the 20 years that postpone our membership in the EU is, to my opinion, dangerous. We should not mention this term at all because everybody knows and Mr. Chaly indicated that there are lots of forms of economical and political integration. I appreciate this dynamic approach because really there are a variety of integration forms. We simply should talk about European choice, about European integration without referring to this 20 years ahead of us. We should step by step move forward and work towards formation of the political will to find our place in Europe but not in the Eurasian structure. This statement of 20 years will just impede the formation of such political will and facilitate the processes we are witnessing now. For example, the gas- transport consortium strongly hampers the European integration because it is certain position in our choice that allows us to make these steps.
Mr. Halchynsky said that we should cool ourselves down as to unification of the law. I disagree with this suggestion. Let us take Russia for comparison. We are lagging behind this country for about 8-10 years in this sphere. Suffice it to say that the Civil Code of Russia was adopted in 1996. We do not have
it in the year 2002. This is a basic document underlying the civil society. I am not saying about the rest of the laws that we also do not have. The law in Russia is harmonized with the European standards and if we restrain this process... I understand that unification in Ukraine is being implemented under unequal conditions, but if we delay, we will not be accepted not only to Europe but also to Asia with the current legislation. The problems we have in the economy are not connected with market- oriented legislation. They have arisen because we appeared at the crossroads. So, I am for the developing our market-oriented legislation unified with Europe as soon as possible. By the way, it will also be unified with Russia. Different forces are acting in our society, as you all know. They have attempted to push the Economical Code for a decade already. They tailed to the Civil Code and kept saying that these two acts should be adopted together. However, the Economical Code is anti-market document and I am constantly warning the special Parliament Committees that once it is adopted we will be thrown away politically for many years back. Even in Russia the Economical Code was linked to anti-market policy. So, I am pushing the idea that we should do our best to harmonize the law to the European standards.
O. HONCHARENKO, Doctor of History, President of the International Security and Strategic Studies Center: Listening to these two very interesting presentations I remembered a circular letter sent a year ago by the former Head of the Administration where he warned against using the word "Euro-Atlantic". I remembered this letter and very much support professor Bruz saying that if we are talking about geopolitical aspects of the European choice it is impossible to exclude the Euro-Atlantic choice. It is impossible in principle because if you look at such countries as Bulgaria and Romania that did not exclude it and that they are in the same economical position as we are you see that they were invited to NATO in 20 days and they will soon be invited to the EU. It is because NATO, the Euro-Atlantic integration, acts as a powerful drive for European integration. By rejecting the idea of Euro-Atlantic integration, and this is what we are trying to do now, we throw ourselves back. So, we are already discussing the problem of 25 to 30 years. Why are not Romanians and Bulgarians talking about this problem? We should think it over.
Now I would like to dwell on the criteria for joining NATO and the EU. They are different not formally but basically. Criteria of NATO membership are geostrategic and Ukraine, by the way, has a great geostrategic significance. As to the EU membership criteria, they are economical and to reach them we may need the mentioned term on condition that these criteria and estimations do not change. So, by ignoring the links of these processes and without clear understanding that it is the NATO membership that will serve as a powerful stimulus for us to membership in the European structures including the EU we simply block the road of fast European integration. This is firstly and secondly I would like to touch upon the 9/11 event and its geopolitical reverberations. The previous presentations have emphasized two interesting ideas. First idea is about strengthening of the international competition for the impact on Ukraine and second is that geopolitical role of Ukraine after 9/11 has increased. I cannot easily agree with these statements. 9/11 events changed the geopolitical situation. It is a question to what extent this was good or bad for Ukraine. Russia has benefited and benefited much. Fast rapprochement of Russia and the USA created a new geopolitical landscape.
Today, unfortunately, we have not spoken yet about the position of Ukraine in the geopolitical interests of the USA. This is very important problem since until recently it was the USA that acted as the main, say, ally of the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. Why have we lost this position? Why does the USA treat us very cautiously? And the reasons are not in the scandal with the "armors" or with
Melnichenko's tapes. These are just pretexts, the reasons are deeper. Without their analysis we will not find the answer. I agree that this is very important to deepen our relations with Russia. But it is hard for me to say that this is one of the objective prerequisites for implementation of the European policy of Ukraine. I would say that normalization and strengthening of our strategic partnership with the USA is nonetheless important. Only on this condition we can be sure that our policy will be balanced and our way to the European integration will have no obstacles. I also think that the term of 25 to 30 years is too long. We cannot consider the processes taking place in the EU during such a long term. The EU and NATO will change, Ukraine will become the NATO member in case we will meat the basic criteria of the NATO membership. It involves human rights, building of the civil society, political and economical reforms. According to the estimates of the American analysis we will need 10 years for this. However, it is possible to reduce this period and then the European integration problems, particularly the problems of joining the EU will be resolved differently.
M. BILOUSOV, Doctor of History, Professor of the Diplomatic Academy under the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine: A. Halchynsky and O. Chaly touched in their reports upon important problems related to changes in the geopolitics, especially in Europe, which directly affect the interests of Ukraine. Their views coincide with the views of many political scientists whose attention is attracted by the fact that the USA has prioritized the struggle against terrorism and established their new relations with Russia on this basis. On the other side, certain contradictions between the USA and the EU have arisen. These contradictions are sharpening due to difficulties of economical development of the USA. In this new and variable conditions the attention of the USA to support of Ukraine is flagging. There are subjective and objective reasons, but objective ones prevail. This situation suggests certain conclusions for Ukraine. To my opinion, now it is important to generalize the formula used to determine the priority (strategic) partners for Ukraine.
At one time the USA, Russia and the EU were often mentioned as such partners. However, other countries, for example Poland, are also important in this role. I would formulate this statement about as follows: "Strategic (priority) partners of Ukraine are the countries capable to facilitate its sovereignty and entering the European and Euro- Atlantic structures." Depending on the situation this statement may be specified by mentioning the countries, which in different time made valuable contributions to support Ukraine.
Another aspect is that soon the World Congress of Ukrainians will take place. It has become a tradition at these congresses to address the foreign participants with an appeal to facilitate the USA government in understanding the interests of Ukraine. I think it is necessary to explain to the foreign delegates new geopolitical situation and objective factors affecting the policy towards Ukraine.
A. HUTSAL, First Deputy Director of the National Institute of the Problems of the International Security of Ukraine: I would like to support A. Halchynsky and cool the ardor of existing illusions. First of all, let me remind you what is going on in the world. The world is moving now from economical phase of development through political to the military hoping to solve the problems. The situation in the USA gives examples of conduct for Europe and for the whole world. So it is untimely to speak about China as the great state. Priorities and values in the policy are changing. To understand the situation it is worth reading the article by C. Raise on the renovation of idealism in the policy. We witness a sharp change from realism to idealism. In fact, the USA is repeating the way of the Soviet Russia after the revolution when the ideas of the latter were transformed for the whole world. Now we see the transformation of the liberal idea of priority of moral-ethical
values. This explains why we are treated and estimated in this way and what is riveting attention.
Finally, Europe started its unification from the economical phase, moved on to the political and now being actively pushed to the military clashes. The question is what Europe shall we join? Now Europe is viewed as an illusive world of stability. We orient ourselves to the economical indices, however when we join Europe it may become militaristic, I think. This is not what we expect. This is the reason why we do not want to join the Eurasian community. As to the possibility created by the Euro- Atlantic integration for us to integrate into the EC, I'd rather say that it would be real to us because these are the militaristic possibilities that we can offer Europe. However, this needs to reconstruct our mentality. Are we ready for this? It may happen that when we join Europe it will probably request from us the only one - our soldiers and military equipment, some of which has still remained competitive. Can we join Europe in 20 years? I think, we can do it in five years. I just remember one discussion in Turkey. Some directors of serious analytical structures said: "We need to erect a monument to Bin Laden because thanks to him Europe remembered about us. We are NATO members not because we adhere to their standards but because Russia is nearby.
Similarly, if a new threat emerges for Europe we will at once become the NATO members. So my suggestion is to orient not only on the standard model of quiet development but also to take into consideration other developmental scenarios. My impression is that the world, unfortunately, is moving towards critical scenarios of development.
V. MANZHOLA, Doctor of History, Prof., Head of the Chair of International Relations and Foreign Policy of the Institute of International Relations of the Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University: I would like to tell that in spite of general approval of our Euro-Atlantic integration efforts Ukraine faces resistance and sometimes this resistance assumes rather brutal forms. Why is this happening? The problem is in the recent developments and in those geopolitical changes that are taking place in the balance of forces in the world at large and in Europe, in particular. These developments may not be obligatory of confrontation nature. So, the balancing of forces correspondingly causes the division of the Central-Eastern Europe into zones of impact. This is a real process and the balance of forces brings certain equilibrium.
Partners are forced to stay within certain political and geographical boundaries. The EU does not have any strategy for future expansion and the NATO membership is also questionable, so we also have to choose a certain line of conduct. The balance of forces is outlined just as the impact zones. If right after the post-bipolar period there was a security vacuum and Ukraine faced the urgent problem of nuclear disarmament and other security problems, now we are more and more finding ourselves in the integration vacuum. This is rather dangerous because for these or other reasons we are outside the active integration both in the western and eastern vectors. Rules of the game there are developed without our input. We are simply facing a dilemma either to obey these rules or not. In both cases the consequences for us may not be very promising.
The problem is that the EU expansion has been suspended because of the European identity. What is their view on the European identity? Outer frontiers are stable so far. In this connection I would like to emphasize the problem of the Balkans. The EU strategy consists in the Europeanization of the Balkans but no one knows how much time will it take.
This integration vacuum and balance of forces bring about the gradual loss of certain horizontal links with neighboring countries. Now they delegate their economical authority in economical links with Ukraine to the EU. It means a decrease of horizontal links and growth of vertical ones implying dependence on the EU and Russia, thus on the centers of force.
As to the difference of the EU, NATO and USA, I would say that a triangle EU- Russia-Ukraine makes up a formula of Great Europe. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the next strategic step of the EU is not expansion but spatial development of the Great Europe, creation of joint pan-European domains - security, energy, transport, political, cultural, educational. Why? Because for the EU this domain is strategically important. This means strategic echelonment, strategic depth in the sphere of security, transport etc., which will allow the EU play a considerable role in formation of the multi-polar world, in development of relations with the USA, China and other countries. In this intentions of the EU to build a spatial organization of the Great Europe Ukraine has its significant role since it is a natural link of this project, a bridge between the EU and Russia.
As to the USA, its view on Ukraine is totally different. If in the 1990s Ukraine was an important element of geopolitical restriction of Russia, now we are transforming into the element for encouragement of Russia. The attitude of the USA to Russia is changing very essentially. It is not so for the EU because - and I am saying it again- we are a natural element of the Great Europe, which the EU will create around itself. In this respect we will be subjected to certain pressure from the EU in its will to develop an integration center in the East of Europe. It is easier for the EU to deal with a certain integration group operating with the similar models of relations. They say: "You should learn to establish integration relations between one another on the same basis as we do, only then we will speak the same language". So, the paradigms of Euro-Atlantic, European and Eurasian integration are rather delusive. In 10-15 years we will deal with a new paradigm of large continental domains that will also be built on the integration basis. It is important that our choice will fall upon asymmetric integration, strategies reaching the west and the east from Ukraine. If we are not working in these directions the Great Europe will be built without our participation.
O. VLASIUK, First Deputy Director of the National Institute of Strategic Studies under the Administration of the President: Pragmatics and people with identical opinions have come together at this round table. Pragmatism lies in the fact that we all understand a complicated way of integration we have to pass. Identical views lie in the fact that the European choice of Ukraine is a strategic choice and we should implement this concept irrespective of any conjuncture variations. The European domain as an integration formation is, first of all, a homogenous political domain. It was formed on the basis of uniform clearly outlined social-cultural area created under the impact of joint religious, military, policy and world outlook indices. These indices create heterogeneity of economical, in particular motivation environment and form single standards of the conduct of the economical subjects. So, creation of a single economical system, such as the EU is possible only when the subjects may reliably enough predict the response of their counteragents. So, it is evident that Ukraine cannot strengthen its integration in the EU until its economy has difference with the EU economy, and they are essential now.
The currency system is the basis of the EU. To join it one should keep inside the macroeconomic indices determined by the Maastricht Treaty. We have no problems with these indices, maybe only in interest rates of long-term credits. However all these criteria of the EU membership are oriented for the economy with not very high but stable growth. This is not the economy of Ukraine. The main task of our national economy is to fight in a short period the economical disproportion laid in the Soviet period. Now we need the policy of high economical growth based on the high saving rates and high productivity. This is impossible without a tough control over the activities of the subjects of economy.
Only when the national producers fully master the tools of modern production and
the Ukrainian market is saturated with material values the integration problem will be resolved with less pain.
Today the most effective way of Ukraine to the EU is to demonstrate its capacity to independently provide political and economical stability and high growth rates. We need the program for integration to the EU. This program should not only consist in the harmonization of the national legislation but also have as its basic elements the basic indicators of our economical security controllable in the process of integration. This program should also have the term for its implementation. It is necessary because integration has not only positive but also many negative moments. We should not lose anything on this way. Here I mean such indices as GDP per capita, a share of high technology products in the export, a share in the markets of basic commodities occupied by the domestic producers, a certain level of production power consumption, quality of scientific and research spheres etc.
Now it is necessary to strengthen the development of the public institutions of the European standard. In the course of this development it is advisable to develop and implement the mass-media-supported campaign for propagation of the European life standards and European values. At the same time it is needed to improve the institutional and legal environment by harmonization of the law. Information of the EU authorities on the steps of Ukraine aiming at rapprochement with the EU remains an important problem. Finally, we should constantly intensify the participation of Ukraine in the system of the EU security. Ukraine is interesting to the EU, first of all, for formation of the collective security. Economical and cultural links come second. We need to investigate the prospects for development of the collective security and actively participate in this sphere by forwarding particular projects and proposals.
V. CHALY, Director of International Programs of the Olexandr Razumkov Ukrainian Center of Economical and Political Research: I would like to tell about terms. In view that our model is political-psychological the term is accepted correspondingly. Using a broader interpretation, it is really good that we can discuss strategic prospects. Sincerely speaking, we do not have a clear answer to this question. It is hard to predict what model will be applied. Time is passing fast. Where do we stand now? I have some other questions. What cardinal changes have taken place in the world after the Address of the President "European Choice"? What has happened? There are strategic priorities that we have identified. There are governmental programs, plans of action, mechanisms. We need to proceed from specific tasks that should be fulfilled. Of course, the line should be adjusted but not changed. By saying "adjusted" I imply three moments. First, can Ukraine exist in future outside integration formations? My answer is "no". Ask military men and they will answer that they cannot guarantee security outside integration projects. What shall we do in this situation?
Second, today we have two models-Eurasian and European. Eurasian model is rather emotional than calculated. It is better to be the third grade in the EU than the second grade in the Eurasia Union. Third, we do not need emotional solutions. It is important that our course is not changed every half a year, it must be weighty. We should hold the positions achieved and to stick to the priorities set forth for the nearest years.
A. HALCHYNSKY: I would like to thank you for critical remarks. They are very important and serious. What shall I say? First of all, 20 years is a principled statement. Goethe wrote: "The theory is dead, my friend, but tree of life is all in blossom". 15-20 years is not our invention. This term appeared outside Ukraine. What shall we do? What will it be if we do not join the WTO in 2003, do not enter the free trade zone before 2005 and do not get the status of the associate member of the EU? I prepared my speech to share with you my
doubts as to possible development of the events. Probably we will become the associate members earlier.
Another remark concerns unification of the legislation. This means establishment of legal norms, which do not correspond to the real processes in the economy and life.
Really, Russian has for some reason outpaced us, but the level of the shadow economy there is the same as we have - 50% or more. The law is in place, but the law for different economy. To be specific, I would like to make some examples. Let us remember the establishment of the VAT in 1992. The whole Europe operates with this tax. At that time I believed that it would bring us closer to Europe. Now I am sure that this tax is no good for transition economies. The majority of problems in the Ukrainian economy are related exactly to this tax. The same can be said about other economical laws. We have opened our economy without the national currency in place. A selective approach in this situation is also possible. We should actively work for unification of our legislation.
To conclude, the problem of Great Europe has not been fully comprehended. What is this? What is the role of Ukraine in development of the Great Europe? Russia has an agreement on free trade zone with the EU. This is the sphere with certain mechanisms for implementation. We need to get back to discussion of this issue.
O. CHALY: Orienting to the year 2011 and assuming that in 2003 we join WTO/GATT and in 2005 enter the free trade zone we already feel that we may lag behind. It is not accidentally that I finished my speech with the statement that the next two years we should by all means adhere to the course for European integration. There is no good in plunging into alternative: European integration as the membership in the EU or the Euro-Atlantic choice. In this case we will not be able to analyze all variants that will allow sticking to the European integration. I think, that some pessimistic view on different scenarios will be helpful. I also think that the problem of Great Europe or, as Mr. Mandzhola said, the European domain is one of the main indices showing the policy of the EU for further development. The idea of the wider Europe is in fact an answer to the question. I only do not agree with the statement that Russia - Ukraine - the EU may be the triad of the Great Europe. I am absolutely confident that today's Russia positions itself as the great state that will never merge the EU. It will be a different political force, which is evident during the negotiations when the problem of the standards is discussed. Russia does not want to accept the European standards. It says that it has the standards of its own that may approach the European but will never be identical. One of the key problems during the negotiations on consortium was the question why Ukraine and Russia should make their standards European even in the gas transportation sphere. So, I think that Russia as the major state cannot be the object of the Great Europe.
The only thing that we should have is the will, the will to determine what we want, and this is very important. Mr. Brzezinski talking about Ukraine said that Ukraine couldn't be the active player in the today's policy, it could the passive player, like Turkey. It is difficult both to integrate them and not to integrate them. This is our specificity. But we need a will. Once we clearly know the target, we can reach it much faster than we expect. I would like to finish my speech by the statement from the written heads of A. Halchynsky. I fully agree with him. Even if we have a decade ahead before gaining the membership, I am still not sure that we need this membership at all. I am for creating the prerequisites that will give us a possibility to integrate to the EU, but the people of Ukraine may vote against it in that situation. He is writing that the most important for us is to stick firmly to the principles of the European integration course in keeping with the strategic course of the state. I think that this must become the theme of our discussion.
A. ZLENKO: Thank you very much, dear
colleagues, for extremely important discussion, in particular for our foreign policy activities. We have touched upon many problems. They are not new but again we have an opportunity to see them with all their acuteness. Of course, they will be taken into consideration in our every day work. I personally have some questions resulting from our discussion. We are talking a lot about European integration, Euro-Atlantic integration but very little we do practically. We need to consolidate our efforts. But where should this consolidation take place?
I cannot give a clear answer. As a Minister of Foreign Affairs, responsible for coordination of our work, I feel this gap, failure, and inconsistency of our efforts in this direction. This is the first demerit. You have remembered Turkey. I am afraid that the same scenario if not worse has been prescribed for us. It is hard to say how many years we will need - 10 or 20. Turkey became the associate member in 1962 and already for 40 years has been staying in the same position. Maybe the events similar to the 9/11 will change the approaches.
As to the WTO, I fully understand our hesitations in this respect. We understand that those involved in solution of this problem will have complicated negotiations with the EU and even more complicated negotiations with the USA. These negotiations will cover not only the problems of chicken meat, intellectual property and access of the foreign insurance companies to the Ukrainian market but also other very important political issues.
In the discussions you have touched upon the NATO problem. On the eve of the Prague Summit I will not broadly comment on this - we have made the decision and are not plunging from side to side. Concerning the international position of Ukraine I would say that the situation is stable, the environment is sound, and the climate is favorable for the country to develop progressively. Much depends on us, on internal stability in the state. In any case the foreign policy activity contributes essentially to the internal development of the state. I am not passing over in silence the collisions with the USA that we have. Why is it so? I already talked about it and again repeat it today. We cannot clearly see all reasons for this. We state them, comment upon them, understand them, but I cannot say that we know all the reasons.
I think we have managed to adjust the situation at the cost of our domestic efforts, consolidating our state and meeting the obligations we have assumed. This is the line we are pursuing in our foreign policy.
I do not want to tackle the vector problems, but we are the participants of different bilateral and multilateral relations. We proceed from the fact that there is one basic vector and we use our activities in different vectors to achieve the goal of the European integration.
There is one more issue. I think that Ukraine must play its role in the sub-regional area it is located. We are on the eve of the EU and NATO expansion. We face in this connection a number of complex problems we have to discuss in order to avoid the negative consequences. My request to you, scientists, is to investigate these problems and to come up with your comments and proposals.
Translated by Alla Horska
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