"The situation is difficult because they may take advantage of the current president’s lack of intelligence, dependence and sheer incompetence to draw in Ukraine in a way that deprives the country of much of its sovereignty," Yulia Tymoshenko said today at a meeting of the "Na Vlasny Pohliad" media club, according to Tymoshenko's official website.
In her opinion, by announcing his readiness to cooperate with the Customs Unions of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan in the 3+1 format, Viktor Yanukovych fell into the trap of his own policy.
"On one hand, he wants to please western politicians and constantly repeats mantras whose essence he doesn’t understand: about joining the free trade zone with the EU and European integration. He doesn’t realize the depth of the process that must take place in Ukraine. Meanwhile, he announced from the tribune in the Verkhovna Rada the format of joining the Customs Union, which he called "3+1". I think someone should have at least explained to the president that "3+1" isn’t a possible format of political and economic cooperation, it’s simply an example of "3+1=4" - nothing more than four," said Yulia Tymoshenko.
The former prime minister pointed out that the constituent documents of the Customs Union do not envisage any special procedures and exceptions for certain members. "I’m convinced that Yanukovych doesn’t fully understand what the Customs Union is, he only knows the name. This is a problem – the problem of the lack of intelligence of the current Ukrainian government," she added.
"There is a mandatory condition that precedes entry into the Customs Union – integration in the so-called Eurasian economic space. If Yanukovych were to carefully read the document that describes the Eurasian space, I think he would be surprised because this is a supra-national structure in which all decisions are made based on a majority vote. Votes are distributed as follows: 40% to Russia, 20% each to Belarus and Kazakhstan, and 10% to two other countries. But the issue is that regardless of the format, there will always be 50%. A large portion of each country’s sovereignty is delegated here. This isn’t yet a customs union, it’s still just political integration," she explained.
Yulia Tymoshenko suggested that Viktor Yanukovych still doesn’t understand that if Ukraine joins the Customs Union, the Ukrainian government will lose approximately 40% of its power. "Is Yanukovych familiar with these aspects of integration with the Customs Union? My only hope is that he has a well-developed gripping instinct and I wonder if he will want to give up some of this power and share it with an unpredictable partner. This is my secret hope," she said rhetorically.
"The free trade zone with the EU and the signing of a political association agreement with the EU are incompatible with Ukraine’s entry into the Customs Union. This must be understood clearly and "3+1" formats shouldn’t be invented that don’t exist in the political nature of any association of states," she added.
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