Ukraine's Orange Revolution
Yanukovych's Rise, Democracy's Fall
An Association Agreement With the EU Will Transform Ukraine -- and its President
Yanukovych Must Go
Ukrainians Will Protest as Long as His Corrupt Regime Exists
Is There One Ukraine?
The Problem With Ukrainian Nationalism
Ukraine's Big Three
Meet the Opposition Leaders at the Helm of Euromaidan
No One Wins in Ukraine
Letter From Kiev
Ukraine's Crisis of Legitimacy
How the New Government in Kiev Can Save Itself
Putin's Plan For Overturning the European Order
Putin's Search for Greatness
Will Ukraine Bring Russia the Superpower Status It Seeks?
Watching Putin in Moscow
What Russians Think of the Intervention in Ukraine
Putin's Own Goal
The Invasion of Crimea and Putin's Political Future
Is Losing Crimea a Loss?
What Russia Can Expect in Ukraine's Rust Belt
The EU After Ukraine
European Foreign Policy in the New Europe
Get Ready for a Russo-German Europe
The Two Powers That Will Decide Ukraine's Fate -- and the Region's
Gas Politics After Ukraine
Azerbaijan, Shah Deniz, and Europe's Newest Energy Partner
Ukraine Isn't Europe's Biggest Energy Risk
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has a decision to make. On November 28–29, Ukraine could sign an Association Agreement with the EU that will expand their political and trade ties, security cooperation, and cultural connections. Success or failure to sign the agreement will not only reshape Ukraine’s domestic political landscape; it could force Yanukovych, ever the authoritarian in democrat’s clothing, to change too. If Ukraine doesn’t sign it, Yanukovych may have to fashion himself as an anti-Western autocrat with a political future bound to Russia. If it does, he just might reinvent himself as a pro-Western national democrat who saved his country by bringing it closer to the EU. Each strategy carries risks, but only the second one promises stability.
The Association Agreement is, according to the EU, “a pioneering document” and “the first agreement based on political association between the EU and any of the Eastern Partnership countries.” It focuses on core economic and political reforms while promoting “democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, good governance, a market economy and sustainable development,” as well as “enhanced cooperation in foreign and security policy and energy.” It would create a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area to open up markets and bring trade competition up to EU standards. If Yanukovych signs the agreement at the Vilnius summit in late November, it then will have to be ratified by Ukraine’s rubber-stamp parliament and all EU-member state parliaments. But ratification will hinge on Germany, which is uneasy about integrating Ukraine at the cost of antagonizing Russia given its own dependence on Russian gas.
If the agreement is signed and ratified, Ukraine has much to look forward to as part of the most successful and most democratic economic and political association in the world. Over half of the electorate -- the pro-Western, pro-Ukrainian, and anti-Soviet electorate in the center, north, and west that regularly votes against Yanukovych -- will rejoice at the agreement’s passage. But
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