James Sherr is Senior Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London, expert on international security of Ukraine, Russia and post-communist states. His fields also include the EU and NATO expansion, as well as energy relations between Kyiv, Moscow and the EU. He is the author of the book Hard Diplomacy and Soft Coercion: Russia’s Influence Abroad out in 2013.
Ukrainian Week: Isn’t the Association Agreement a program of reforms that Ukraine would have to implement?
Who is going to make Ukraine implement it? The past 20 years of relations between the West as a whole and the former Soviet world should persuade anyone that it is simply not possible to micromanage another country from outside it. If Ukraine had in power a government, a group of people, a group of decision makers and a group of people running the economy who really understand how the EU works, are determined to make these transformations and do all these things, then the Association Agreement would be very helpful. But today the political and economic elite of Ukraine do not want to see these changes take place because their power would be threatened by them. They want to maintain the powers they have over economic life, they want maintain the covert and opaque cash flows and rent-seeking.
See the full article here: http://ukrainianweek.com/Politics/86263