Brussels Forces Ukraine to Chop Down the Carpathians

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The EU threatened to leave Ukraine unaided to the sum of 600 million euros because of the existing moratorium on the export of the roundwood timber. The political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko on the air of Radio Sputnik noted that the EU compels Ukrainians to fell trees in the Carpathians, and, most likely, they will obtain it.

Ukraine risks to remain without 600 million euros of macro-financial aid from the European Union if the Verkhovna Rada doesn’t cancel the moratorium on the export of the raw wood, stated the Head of the EU Delegation in Ukraine Hugh Mingarelli.

“If Ukraine doesn’t lift the ban on the export of roundwood timber, 600 million euros – the third tranche of macro-financial aid – will be lost. A decision will be made before the end of this year, and it means that you must receive money at the beginning of 2018. But once again, there are still six-seven conditions in the sphere of the fight against corruption, social payments for displaced persons, in the sphere of trade and energy, which still weren’t fulfilled by Ukraine. And if it remains like this – you won’t receive money,” said the ambassador in an interview to the Ukrainian newspaper “Segodnya” told.

In July, Kiev and the European Union agreed to activate efforts on the realization of a joint program of reforms in Ukraine so that Kiev before the end of the year could receive the third tranche of macro-financial aid. The cancellation of the moratorium on the export of the roundwood timber is one of the main conditions for the allocation of means.

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On the air of Radio Sputnik the President of the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting, the political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko reminded that this is not the first conflict concerning the moratorium on the export of raw wood. The EU compels Ukraine to fell trees tin he Carpathians, he considers.

“The European Union repeatedly stipulated conditions for its support, for the allocation of credits, and even the ratification of the agreement on association: the cancellation of this moratorium. And Ukraine, by the way, assumed such an obligation. Another thing is that, of course, this causes huge damage to Ukraine, because the Carpathian forest is being cut down practically at the roots. They already now decreased it by half, and soon the Carpathians will become a bald mountain. Because of this there are environmental disasters there, the landscape becomes unsuitable for human life. But this espeically interest the European Union,” said Rostislav Ishchenko.

According to him, Brussels will uphold its position in discussion with Ukraine.

“And I think that it will uphold it. Ukraine can temporarily lift the moratorium, and maybe even permanently, because in Ukraine there are serious lobbyist structures, business structures which demand to provide them the possibility to export roundwood timber, they earn very big money on it. There are ecological organizations that support restrictions on cutting down the Carpathian forest. But for now business won when it was necessary for it. Especially as in this case the interests of Ukrainian business coincide and are supported in the European Union,” noted the political scientist.

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