Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Given that quote about EU financial assistance, this old story is well worth remembering: Merkel wanted to export austerity to the Ukraine (Eurointelligence, 26.11.2013)
The Eastern Partnership is definitely off our reservation, but nevertheless we feel there is an overlooked aspect in Ukraine's suspension of the talks with a more direct relevance to our debate. We would like to draw attention to a little-reported speech delivered on last Monday the 18th by Angela Merkel to the Bundestag (video) in which she demanded that Ukraine engage in fiscal consolidation as part of the agreement. We have found this speech reported in English only in the Russian site Vestnik Kavkaza.
...An additional serious problem for Ukraine is fiscal consolidation. Without serious finances, there will be no agreement on economic support from the IMF. We believe that such an agreement with Ukraine is necessary. Bilateral credits of the EU for macrofinancal support of Ukraine depend on this.

We constantly recommend Ukraine to conduct reforms. We cannot do this for the Ukrainian government. The reforms should be provided, notwithstanding, the association agreement will be signed or not. We understand that they cannot be provided in a single day.

We also would like to support Ukraine in its reforms by our cooperation and financial aid for the European neighboring policy, but Ukraine has to provide necessary conditions for this. And it has to do it right now.

Seeing how well German-inspired macroeconomic management of the eurozone is turning out, we cannot fault the Ukrainian government for not wanting to unduly restrict its macroeconomic policy space in exchange for a status which does not even amount to that of Turkey. As with Syria and Iran, the EU has delivered an easy political victory to Putin by overplaying its hand. We noted a comment in Berliner Zeitung that "the advantages of the association agreement are abstract" while "Moscow's threats and promises have been wonderfully concrete".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 25th, 2014 at 09:26:18 AM EST
And the Ukraine has strong memories of forced starvation by occupiers.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 26th, 2014 at 01:40:52 AM EST
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