No to treaty
Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia have rejected proposals to sign an EU treaty. They would rather join the Eurasian Customs Union with Russia, Georgia and Moldova than sign EU association agreements.
The EU has warned Ukraine that it faces a financial blockade if it refuses to sign. The EU and the USA also threatened Ukraine that it is unlikely to get IMF “aid”. But the IMF has already suspended a credit line worth $15 billion because Ukraine refused to stop subsidising household gas bills. The German Council on Foreign Relations has called for “stringent and very painful social adjustment measures”. EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton criticised Ukraine for not “becoming a predictable and reliable interlocutor for international markets”.
Pro-EU, “pro-democracy” campaigners have called for the EU to punish Ukraine, and for the overthrow of the government of President Victor Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions, which is supported by the Communist Party of Ukraine.
These campaigners include the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Freedom) party, led by Oleh Tiahnybok, who recently spoke against the “Jewish mafia in Moscow”. The pro-German Batkivschyna (Fatherland) party of Yulia Timoshenko, imprisoned for fraud and embezzlement, formed an electoral alliance with Svoboda before the last elections.
Hungarian Nazi friend honoured
In Budapest last month a new bust was unveiled to former Hungarian ruler Miklos Horthy. Marton Gyongyosi, a deputy of the far-right Jobbik, described Horthy as “a national saviour”. This was the latest in a number of commemorations to Horthy, who took that country into alliance with Nazi Germany. He also played a leading role in the counterrevolution and foreign invasion which in 1920 overthrew the communist government led by Bela Kun.
THE BRITISH government has announced proposals to tighten immigrants’ access to social welfare, including a test that claimants should speak English. EU commissioners told Britain to avoid “hysteria” and called us a “nasty country”. ■