Paet: EU Made Multiple Mistakes in Dealing with Ukraine
Estonia's foreign minister, Urmas Paet, has said that the European Union made a number of mistakes in the way it proposed the association agreement to Ukraine and that future dealings with Eastern Partnership countries must be more individualized.
“The first fault was the presumption that Ukraine is ready to sign the association and free-trade agreement. Russia's behavior and pressure were clearly underestimated. And of course the passion of the current Ukrainian leadership to move towards the EU was also miscalculated,” Paet said, speaking on ETV program “Välisilm” on Monday.
“Confrontation is deepening every day. The next few weeks are definitive and will show how the leadership is ready to open a dialog with the opposition and the civil society. If Ukraine does decide to strike a deal with Russia, then all other alternatives will be more difficult to implement,” the minister said.
Speaking about the Eastern Partnership initiative, Paet said that the six target nations of Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Ukraine are all very different, and the initiative must be updated to take those distinctions into account.
Roadmaps for relations with each of the six nations must be more individualistic, Paet said, adding that questions like what those states actually want, what are they ready for, where they currently stand in their relationships with the EU, must be considered.