Saturday

21st Oct 2017

EU-Ukraine summit 'unlikely' this year

  • Yanukovych (l) and EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy in happier times (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

The EU and Ukraine will "most likely" not hold a summit this year, but diplomats blame it on technical instead of political reasons.

"We wanted to see the elections [in Ukraine] take place before we started preparations for the next summit, whch means this will most likely take place only next year ... sometime at the beginning of 2013," EU foreign service spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told EUobserver on Monday (5 November).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

A Ukrainian contact said December had been mooted as a potential summit date, but people are now speaking of January or February instead.

"You should have a summit but you also need some deliverables," the contact added, referring to a diplomatic custom in which every top-level meeting is accompanied by some kind of deal.

The two sides have held a summit every year for the past 15 years.

The break in tradition comes amid a sharp deterioration in ties since Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych came to power in 2010.

The EU already cancelled a meeting with him in Brussels last October after he jailed his main political opponent, former PM Yulia Tymoshenko.

Top EU officials did go to Kiev last December to initial an EU-Ukraine trade and political association agreement. But the frosty meeting in the Ukrainian capital came with a warning the pact will not be signed or ratified unless Tymoshenko goes free.

They told Yanukovych's Prime Minister Mykola Azaraov to "stay home" in May this year. EU leaders the same month boycotted a regional summit in Yalta and later boycotted the Euro 2012 football championships in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's parliamentary elections in October did nothing to repair damage.

International monitors, the Vienna-based OSCE, said "democratic progress appears to have reversed in Ukraine" in their assessment of the vote. EU foreign service chief Catherine Ashton this weekend also complained about vote-counting delays.

In terms of the association pact, Kocijancic said EU foreign ministers will discuss the future of the treaty later this month.

One EU diplomat said the pact might be signed in order "not to push Ukraine into Belarus-type isolation."

But other sources said the signature is highly unlikely and that the summit postponement is linked to Yanukovych's increasingly bad name.

"Nobody wants to see him shaking hands with VIPs in Brussels so soon after the elections. It would be seen as EU approbation of his authority despite the poor conduct of the parliamentary vote," an EU diplomatic contact said.

EU snubs Ukraine, again

EU Council President Van Rompuy - the Union's highest official in protocol terms - has told Ukraine's prime minister he is not welcome in the EU capital.

EU ministers disagree on Ukraine boycott

Poland and Sweden have questioned the value of a sports boycott on Ukraine, but Austria and Belgium back the idea, while others are waiting for new developments.

EU countries split on Ukraine treaty

A handful of EU countries want to sign a treaty with Ukraine in autumn despite its erosion of democratic standards. But others disagree.

Macron puts trade policy on summit table

France's president wants a "political discussion" on EU trade policies at Thursday's summit, amid domestic concerns over Canada and South America deals. But his colleagues are likely to avoid a lengthy debate.

EU gives thumbs up to US data pact

Commission gives 'thumbs-up' to controversial Privacy Shield deal with US on data sharing after a year's operation - but notes room for improvement.

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  2. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving up to 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  3. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  5. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  9. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  10. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  11. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  12. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People

Latest News

  1. The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals
  2. Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda
  3. Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift
  4. Posted workers top EU agenda This Week
  5. Leaders lobby to host EU agencies at summit's margins
  6. Legal tweak could extend EU control on Russia pipeline
  7. Ukraine language law does not harm minorities
  8. EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks