Swiss corruption investigators have pronounced their verdict on Ukraine (II)

Swiss corruption investigators have pronounced their verdict on Ukraine (II)

Part I

The experts from the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva have issued even more scathing conclusions about how the European Union is affecting events in Ukraine and what that means for the EU. 

According to the Swiss investigators, «The positive effect of the EU integration policies is obviously highly questioned: although it may have worked out in certain countries, it was catastrophic in other countries such as Romania and Bulgaria. However, the EU has always had a stabilizating [sic] role in all of these countries where the tense economical situation in fragile economies could have strongly destabilized the social and political structure in many occasions. We shall also notice that Ukraine can be considered as the second major failure of the EU foreign policy after Yugoslavia because the Union was not able to impede the war». This is because «democracy cannot be ‘imposed’ from outside, and that crime without control can lead an entire geographical zone and a massive population to a disaster of war, hate and cruelty, scratching to the end the fine glaze of civilization humanity has taken over centuries to build».

For that reason, it is possible that «Ukraine might be the ‘nemesis’ of Europe», as a sort of comeuppance for its violation of social and moral standards. And that includes more than just the fears of sharply heightened competition on the European labor market after a possible influx of Ukrainian «guest workers». «As it happened with the integration of the Eastern European countries (including Poland), the massive emigration toward Western Europe countries created huge problems not only in terms of criminality exportation but also in terms of ‘political machine’ and unfair competition in the labor markets».

European qualms are much more serious. They worry that the leaders of Ukraine will take their cue from Georgia’s tactics for fighting organized crime and force Ukrainian underworld groups to shift their operational bases into «the very heart of European institutions» - in other words, colonizing the most prosperous countries in Europe. «However, the situation is more dangerous for Europe than for Ukrainians. Of course, the Ukrainian population is suffering from privations, violence, corruption and arbitrary ruling in the countryside, suburbs etc. But this situation forces many Ukrainians to flee their country to the EU, some of them bringing in their luggages improved criminal activities and know-how. This flow of new criminal [sic] on saturated and organized illegal markets will force the existing criminal groups within the EU to reorganize and share the pie with another actor. If this will lead to an increase of the capacities of the EU organized crime groups (Ukrainians can bring lots of capacities, in weapons, in man work, in corruption schemes and economical crime), there will be also tragedies and killings in local mafia wars throughout the EU».

The Swiss experts also reached an interesting conclusion in regard to the spin that European propaganda puts on events in Ukraine: «The war also exacerbated the ‘media’ and propaganda war. The official media, the internet and the private media, in Ukraine but also in the EU, the US on one side and in Russia on the other side started an image fight, aiming at legitimizing its own position. But the ‘media war’ has had a direct impact on the populations of the EU, because it challenged also the legitimacy of the EU institutions themselves on the matter, their independence, their quality, their capacities to bring to their customers a reliable information with intelligent comments and analysis».

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The authors highlighted their recommendations about how to proceed in Ukraine, because events there are increasingly reminiscent of accounts from the former Yugoslavia. As such, the potential aftermath of the EU’s policy toward Ukraine could be similar to the repercussions suffered in Yugoslavia: The «EU shall not repeat the mistakes made in the Balkans to stop the war and ensure the positions of extremists. We have now more than 15 years of experience to analyze the outcomes of such disastrous policies: widespread corruption, continuous high unemployment, ecological disasters and creation of ‘mafia-states’ or closed extremists communities, booming of any illegal trafficking, hardly developing infrastructures and misery among educated populations».

These findings in regard to Ukraine’s present and future are quite damning, including the verdict on the government: «The current institutions are not efficient at all. They give the impression to hold only because of the war. As we have seen these early days of March 2015, the respect of the Minsk agreements which have effectively seen a withdrawal of the heavy weapons along the ceasefire line have lighted other fires in Kiev almost immediately: polemics, disputes, fights, etc. As it is, the future shows signs to slip over a more autocratic government in order to control the forces that are currently ruling the country (including organized crime groups) and to avoid a total chaos. This will lead or to a soviet-style totalitarism, or to an extreme nationalism. It seems currently, with the help of some EU members, that the path looks more the second than the first option».

Of course Ukraine’s slide into a neo-Nazi state is being given the trappings of various democratic formalities, but those efforts come to naught: «The Ukrainian state legitimacy moves through elections also seems to be ‘medical patches’ to a more deep cancer». And against a backdrop of civil war, «the direct implication of foreign countries such as the EU, Poland, Germany, France, the United States, Israel and Russia in Ukraine’s destiny turns the possible outcomes even more difficult, uncertain and dark».

The conclusions of the study’s authors are even more categorical in regard to the prospects of a unitary Ukraine: «It seems that in a mid-term future, Ukraine will never be in the capacity to be a centralized state. Indeed, the institutions shall leave more space to the regions and create a true federation such as Germany, the US or Switzerland». But they do not feel that even an integrated, federal Ukraine could promise a solution to all the problems: «We believe that future cannot be acceptable for Ukraine. Even if the country shall split in two different countries, the situation and challenges will remain the same: how to ensure a viable prosperity framework for the populations».

However, the question of the country’s future, ravaged by civil war and is now sliding toward fascism, is one that is being determined far outside of Ukraine herself. And the Swiss researchers are not shy about admitting this: «As it was reminded to us in February 2015, ‘the future of Ukraine hardly depends on the Ukrainians.’»