Publication: Russia and Eurasia Review Volume: 1 Issue: 3

By Taras Kuzio

On July 4, Copenhagen will host the next Ukraine-EU summit. The session is unlikely, however, to resolve poor relations between the two once and for all because there is fault on both sides. Next year, Poland–the last country on Ukraine’s western border–will require visas for all visitors from CIS countries. Time, that is to say, is slipping away for Ukraine to sign an association agreement with the EU.

Such agreements were originally signed in the early 1990s with central-eastern European postcommunist countries and the three Baltic states from the former Soviet Union. Each was negotiated on an individual basis, and signified that the country intended to eventually join the EU, whether on a slow or a fast membership track.

Since then, however, the situation has changed. It is, in the mind of Brussels, a totally different era. The agreements made in the early 1990s were made in part to show solidarity with the new post-communist regimes. The EU has never expressed any interest in returning to that formula simply in order to sign an association agreement with Ukraine. A different era yields different needs and requirements.