Did 'Colossal' EU Meddling Force Putin's Hand On Crimea?
The European Union (EU) undertook a concerted, costly campaign to undermine Russia's influence in Ukraine, and help the EU's expansionism agenda, reports EU blogger Richard North.
North has accused the EU of meddling in Ukrainian affairs on a "colossal" scale, illustrating by way of video (below) how the generously funded "Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum" destabilised the country, perhaps significantly contributing to the ongoing stand off with Russia.
The Civil Society Forum website openly admits its aim to bring Ukraine "closer to the EU both politically and economically".
"[The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum] has provided an open site for a multiplicity of NGOs, specifically directed at "discussions, consultations, information activities in the implementation framework of the Eastern Partnership policy". Components of this Forum have been funded by the EU, and by other agencies, including funding from the Swedish government."
The EU spent €389 million on Ukraine between 2011 and 2013, apportioning money to pressure groups such as 'the Agency for Legislative Initiatives Citizens Association', and 'the All-Ukrainian Non Governmental Organization Committee of Voters of Ukraine'. Some European taxpayer cash was also giving to the 'All-Crimean Association of Voters for Civil Peace and Interethnic Harmony'.
North comments, "The EU was blundering into a situation with all the finesse of a ballet dancer in size 12 boots. It was unsurprising that Russia reacted. Regardless of the intentions – many of them entirely honourable – it would have seen direct assistance to non-state groups as subversive, and feared the worst.
The Wall Street Journal pointed to Russian threats as early as August last year. Nevertheless EU leaders have seemed surprised at Russia's response to the Ukraine crisis, with talks between the U.S. and Russia continuing today, while EU appointees sit on the sidelines.