Is the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement coming back to life? Lady Catherine Ashton, Europe’s foreign affairs chief, announced that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich told her that he does, in fact, plan on signing the deal. But not for free:
Mr Yanukovych pulled out of the deal last month, explaining that Kiev could not afford to sacrifice trade with Russia. While adding that he still aimed to sign the deal, he said Ukraine would need at least 20bn euros (£17bn; $27bn) a year to upgrade its economy.Baroness Ashton said on Thursday: “It is my view that those challenges, which are real, can be addressed by the support that not only comes from the European Union institutions, but actually by showing that he has a serious economic plan in signing the association agreement also will help to bring in the kind of investment that he needs.”
It’s all about the Benjamins (or the euro-equivalent thereof). Yanukovich appears to be holding an auction, but will power slip from his hands before all the bids are in?