#Official Commentary of Vladimir Bidyovka on risks for Ukraine in relation to its possible withdrawal from CIS

Ukraine is consistent in only one thing – in destroying itself by its own hands. Another act of lasting more than twenty years suicide is the renewed activity around the exit of Ukraine from the Commonwealth of Independent States. Ukrainians insist that their country should withdraw from the CIS, as the Commonwealth is a dead structure which does not bring Ukraine any real dividends.

Ukraine is in a paradoxical situation. They want to leave the organisation while hot being the member. Although Ukraine is one of the countries-founders of the CIS (1991), they have not entered its membership. Kiev refused to ratify the protocol on the establishment of the CIS, its charter, according to which it is entitled to withdraw from the Commonwealth.

Frankly speaking, Ukraine wishes to withdraw from the CIS since its inception. But if earlier this desire has a disguise of conversations about a dissenting opinion on any matter, then, since the coup d’état in February 2014, camouflage rhetoric has been abandoned, and it stated quite clearly: Ukraine wants to withdraw from the CIS. In the newly elected Verkhovna Rada, on the first day by the bill on withdrawal from the CIS was registered, and after a while the VRU Committee on Foreign Affairs abolished the Subcommittee on CIS affairs.

However, there were no actual actions except for words, and in 2015, as boxers say, Ukraine ‘went into reverse.’ The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said that, “If we emerge from the Commonwealth now, the agreements will begin to fall, complicating the lives of thousands and thousands of people. First, we will sort everything out, and then we will take further steps. In addition, we participate in the activities of the CIS when we need to achieve something.” The result of the proceedings did not take long, and the President Poroshenko withdrew the representative of Ukraine Anatoly Dron of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth.

By the way, this is quite the American way, and here Ukraine copies exactly the behaviour of its ‘patron’. US may impose sanctions on any economic components, but what Americans need, i.e. what is profitable for them, will be removed from the sanctions list. For example, cooperation with Russia in the space sector.

During all the years of ‘residence’ in the CIS Ukraine ignored any general obligation for all member countries in every possible way, preferring bilateral agreements. Ukrainian experts in one voice say that the withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States would not entail to Ukraine any serious consequences. In their view, the provisions on mutual recognition of diplomas and pensions can be fixed by bilateral agreements. An expert on international affairs Andrei Bouzarov at the same time adds that abrupt withdrawal from the Commonwealth will also stop cooperation in agriculture and other programmes of economic ties.

With such an ambiguous expression, referred to as ‘other programs of economic relations,’ the country’s catastrophic consequences of exit from the CIS are being hidden from the ordinary citizens of Ukraine. The Minister of Economic Affairs (1997-1998) Viktor Suslov warned about them back in 2014. “Residence in the CIS free trade area is more valuable for Ukraine, than residence in the CIS,” the ex-minister said. “In accordance with the agreement on free trade area, all the products that Ukraine exports to CIS are not subject to duties. Therefore, Ukraine’s withdrawal from the CIS should result in the automatic exclusion from the FTA.”

I want to draw attention to the fact that due to the Ukraine’s exit from the Commonwealth not the recognition of diplomas and pensions payment (although they are also very important), but Russia’s right to double duties on Ukrainian products will knock down financial situation in Ukraine which is already fragile. It is stipulated in the agreements with the WTO. Ukrainian products will become uncompetitive in the markets of Russia, let alone Europe and the rest of the world. This may cause the collapse of the economy.

No bilateral agreements will fix the withdrawal from the CIS free trade area. Most Commonwealth countries are linked by common agreements, and no one will denounce them for the sake of Ukraine. In each case they would have to conduct lengthy negotiations, and there is no guarantee that they will be completed in a favourable way for Ukraine. Because all actions aimed at Ukraine’s withdrawal from the CIS are suicidal a priori. And if after this ‘act of self-destruction’ Ukrainian authorities introduce even visa regime for Russians, it will be the beginning of the total impoverishment of citizens. Ukraine’s economy will collapse, and the unemployed population will rush for earnings, mainly to Russia, and the Russian border guards will meet them on the border and will require presenting the visa.

In addition, the conditions of residence in Russia for those Ukrainians who are already working there will deteriorate markedly. If Ukraine introduces visa regime, Russia will have to answer with the same decision. Ukraine will lose $ 2 billion which Ukrainian guest workers legally send their relatives, and the same amount of money they transport to Ukraine illegally.

However, the main risks leaving the CIS Ukraine deliberately hide behind ambiguous wording and the insignificant losses. Ordinary Ukrainians are being told tall tales instead of forthcoming consequences. “Firstly, the CIS now is not a very promising platform for the promotion of Ukrainian position. Secondly, the organization is not the subject of an influential global policy. Third, it did not become the centre of economic gravity. Fourth, the CIS showed a complete helplessness in resolving conflicts between member countries,” the director of foreign policy programmes and international security of “Razumkov Centre” Mikhail Pashkov said Ukrainian media. In fact, it is the policy of Ukraine’s destruction, which ‘Maidan’ leaders prepared for ordinary Ukrainians.

Vladimir Bidyovka, the DPR People’s Council deputy

Official website of the DPR People’s Council 

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